Anybody can be topless in Minneapolis parks, as the new law allows women to be topless in these public places. The ruling came after the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board unanimously voted to let women be topless without getting cited for public indecency.
The law repealed the state's previous legislation, which stated:
"No person ten (10) years of age or older shall intentionally expose his or her own genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast below the top of the areola, with less than a fully opaque covering in or upon any park or parkway".
Nevertheless, indecent exposure still includes the use of lewd behavior.
This discussion began earlier in July when Chris Meyer, park board commissioner, tried to change the ordinance. However, he explained on his Facebook page that the repeal would only have an impact on the section that targets female breasts.
Nothing has changed about the law when it comes to exposing genitals, pubic area or buttocks.
The law does not only cover women but also transgender people. Thanks to this law, trans people can now go topless in the city's parks without getting into trouble with the law.
Surprisingly, there's already an ordinance that allows women to walk topless on the streets of Minneapolis. Most people have never actually seen that happen.
For obvious reasons, some women might not take up this offer and go topless in the city's parks. But at least they know that it's not an offense to express themselves in this manner if they so wish.
Societal perceptions might need to catch on before this legislation becomes beneficial to most women. As things stand, the sight of a woman topless in a park would probably draw too much unwelcome attention.
Fortunately, police cannot cite such women for showing their nipples anymore. That is a significant change.
Such displays often attract catcalls, verbal abuse, and even other forms of harassment. But hopefully, this law will help people understand that women who go topless are exercising their right to do so.