Salt Lake, UT – Thanks to a lawsuit filed by two women in Colorado, women in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, News Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma can go topless.
Fort Collins spent $300,000 in legal fees defending their topless ban before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down on Sept. 20, FOX News reported.
The city said it has decided not to appeal the court’s ruling and as a result, topless bans in the six states under the court’s jurisdiction are no longer enforceable, KUTV reported.
Brit Hoagland and Samantha Six brought the lawsuit as part of the social media movement #FreeTheNipple.
“Addressing small parts of inequality can make a big difference in how people are treated on a day to day basis, and I thought free the nipple was just one small step closer to how it should be,” Hoagland told KGUN.
The women’s attorney, Andy McNulty, called the ban an attack on equal rights.
“Any law that says, ‘Women are prohibited from,’ is unconstitutional and really just intolerable in a society that should treat women as equal to men,” McNulty told KGUN. “They had been advocating for a while, trying to get the Fort Collins City Council to get rid of a female topless ban in Fort Collins. They’d been unsuccessful, and they wanted to see if we would be willing to represent them in a legal challenge to that ordinance.”
Hoagland said she was pleased with the breadth of the court’s ruling.
“We made a huge impact way beyond Fort Collins, and we were just trying to start a conversation,” Hoagland told KGUN. “And that conversation reached to so many more people. It’s a miraculous achievement I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime let alone so soon.”
Despite the ruling in Hoagland and Six’s favor, the issue is far from settled, KUTV reported.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Wisconsin, Indiana, Chicago, and some other parts of Illinois, upheld Chicago's topless ban for women in 2017.
KUTV pointed out that means there are currently two very different rulings by two federal courts on the same level, and that discordance will have to be addressed at a higher judicial level.