Nantucket Residents Call For Vote On Topless Beaches

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NANTUCKET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new citizen petition from a Nantucket resident wants a vote on whether or not to make all of the islands beaches, public and private, into topless beaches.

This effort aims to create a law permitting anyone to go topless on any of the beaches on the island regardless of their gender. The purpose of the petition, titled "Equality For All Genders On All Island Beaches", is to promote equality for all of the island's residents, according to a copy of the petition.

The proposal also say allowing people to go topless will let police on the island to focus on other issues pertaining to public safety. The primary sponsor of the petition, Dorothy Stover, told WBZ's Tim Dunn the current law promotes sexualization within society.

"At the moment it's more acceptable for men to be topless than it is for women," she said.

Stover got the 10 signatures necessary in support of the petition and now it will be up for vote at the 2022 annual town meeting in Nantucket. She said she's gotten a lot of positive feedback on the petition.

"A lot of women have reached out that have thanked me," Stover said. "Some reached out because they felt uncomfortable breast feeding in public."

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As for opponents of the proposal, Stover pointed to the island's history in defense of her petition.

"We islanders have a strong and proud history of people, especially women, fighting for equality," Stover said.

For the petition to become a new law, it would need to receive a majority vote at the 2022 town meeting on May 2, 2022 and then will need to be approved by the attorney general.

WBZ's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports.

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