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Appeals Court sides with Ocean City in prohibiting women from going topless on the beach

Ocean City beach patrol stops scolding women who sunbathe topless
Posted at 10:51 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 10:53:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A unanimous three judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld Ocean City's ban on women sunbathing topless on the beach.

Five women had sued the town arguing the ordinance discriminated against them in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

A U.S. District Court judge had previously sided with Ocean City, prompting the women to appeal.

The appellate judges rejected their argument, writing that Ocean City had shown the policy was "substantially related to an important government interest—protecting public sensibilities—and satisfies the heightened scrutiny of the Equal Protection Clause."