‘Free the Nipple’ can move forward with lawsuit against Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Advocacy group Free the Nipple will be allowed to move forward with a lawsuit against the city of Fort Collins.

The Fort Collins arm of the national group  is challenging a city ordinance that forbids women from knowingly exposing their breasts in public. Violators can be fined up to $2,650 or jailed for up to 180 days.

In May, the Fort Collins group filed a lawsuit claiming the ban is unconstitutional.

Members of the group claim the city violated their First Amendment right to free speech and their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

According to the lawsuit, the ordinance “discriminates against females and LGBTQIA individuals.”

On Thursday, Judge R. Brooke Jackson issued a decision on the city’s motion to dismiss the claims.

Jackson ruled public nudity is not protected by the First Amendment but agreed the group’s claims met the “intermediate scrutiny standard” for the 14th Amendment.