Topless initiative turns heads in Fort Collins

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A woman from Fort Collins is hoping the city will change its public indecency ordinance to allow women to walk around topless, if they so choose.

Brittiany Hoagland is upset with a city law that specifically targets the female breast. It reads, in part, exposing “the breast or breasts of a female.”

Hoagland believes if men can bare their chests, women should be allowed to, too.

“I’ve been fighting this diplomatically since February,” Hoagland said. “It’s sexist because it specifically discriminates against female breasts.”

In Fort Collins, public indecency is considered a misdemeanor.

“It is my understanding that the current state of federal and state law allows the city to differentiate between men and women in this ordinance,” said Jerry Schiager, deputy chief of the Fort Collins Police Department.

Schiager said it should be a community discussion as to whether the citizens of Fort Collins want to change the law and allow women to be topless in public. Hoagland said she wasn’t sure if she would walk around topless but would like to have the option as men do.

Ordinances in Denver and Boulder don’t single out women. Hoagland is hoping the Fort Collins City Council will take that into consideration.

Fort Collins police say they write six to eight tickets a year for public indecency. Hoagland is hosting a protest on Aug. 23 to put more pressure on the city.​

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