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Fort Collins declines to fight ‘Free the Nipple’ lawsuit

Free the nipple

After spending more than $300,000 to defend its topless ban, the Fort Collins, Colorado, city council agreed to remove language that girls over the age of 10 were forbidden to expose their breasts in public in the city’s public nudity code, according to a report Tuesday in The Coloradoan.

The city passed the policy in 2015, drawing protests and a lawsuit dubbed the “Free the Nipple” suit, said the news report. In February 2017, a district court judge ruled that the city’s ordinance was unconstitutional because it only applied to women. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver affirmed the decision in a 2-1 vote in early 2019, holding that an ordinance that bans only women from being topless violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, reported the Coloradoan.

The city council had the option of seeking a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, but voted to stop defending the ordinance and negotiated paying $200,000 in legal fees of the lawsuit’s two plaintiffs, according to the news report.


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