Men can go topless. Why can’t women? Because they asked, and now they can’t. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Ever hear the old saying it’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission? That might have been a wise approach in Ocean City, Maryland, where a group of female beachgoers asked local officials if there was a rule against going topless. Turns out there was not, but once the question was asked, public outrage ensued, prompting officials to create such an ordinance. So the group sued, arguing that if men could go topless but women couldn’t, the regulation was unconstitutional.
The Appeals Court just ruled that it is not unconstitutional because the government has the right to protect the moral sensibility of the people who, and I quote, “do not want to be exposed willy-nilly to public displays of their fellow citizens’ anatomies.” So that’s the legal lesson, I guess: you can’t put your willy nilly or other private parts on display in Ocean City, Maryland.