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Women Going Topless For Equal Rights

LOS ANGELES  -- For the third consecutive year, U.S.-based GoTopless.org will stage a national Go-Topless Day protest to proclaim women's constitutional right to go bare-chested in public. During the protest, while participating women go bare, male participants will cover their chests to comply with gender equal rights by wearing bikini tops or bras.

Sound ridiculous? It's no more ridiculous than women having to wear tops at all times in this double-standard, legal topless battle.

For Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement (rael.org) and founder of GoTopless.org, the equation is simple: "As long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests."

"We will force men to legally cover up if women can't go bare," agreed Nadine Gary, Raelian Priestess and President of GoTopless.org.

She criticized cities such as Ashland, Ore. (supposedly a topfree state), Asbury, N.J., and others that have recently passed ordinances against women's right to go topless or that arrest women for doing so when local laws don't even warrant this action (i.e., Madison, Wis.). "U.S. cities and states not recognizing women's topless rights must be relentlessly sued to make them conform with gender equality," Gary said.

The excuse that families and children may be uncomfortable around topless women mustn't be considered, she said, explaining that the same excuse was used by defenders of segregation laws 50 years ago.

"Those laws were abolished nevertheless," she said. "Thankfully, the U.S. Constitution isn't swayed by racism or Puritanism for the benefit of families and children."

For the Raelian Movement that sponsors GoTopless, nudity is a non-issue.

The Raelian philosophy maintains that life on Earth was the result of scientific creation by an advanced, extraterrestrial human civilization, the Elohim, mistaken for gods in the Bible.

"They created us scientifically in their image through genetic engineering," Gary said. "So how can a body, a masterpiece, be perceived with shame?"

Already, a handful of states, including New York and Maine, have come to terms with this legal reality and now honor women's topfree rights. Last week, the city council of Santa Fe, N.M., turned down a city ordinance to ban women's topfree rights because council members feared they could later be sued for violating gender equal rights.

Gary said GoTopless Day is always held at the end of August to honor Women Equality Day, Aug. 26, which commemorates the passage of women's right to vote on Aug. 26, 1920.

She added that Aug. 22 events are planned both for cities where it's illegal for women to go topless publicly, such as Los AngelesChicagoSan FranciscoSeattleDenverMiami and Honolulu; and for cities where it's already legal, including New York and Austin, Texas.



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