UPDATED: No Ruling Yet in Ocean City Topless Ban Lawsuit
UPDATED 12-9-18 – Five women are hoping a federal judge in Baltimore will strike down Ocean City’s ordinance that prohibits women going topless in public in the resort. They were in US District Court in Baltimore Friday, however the Baltimore Sun reports the judge has not yet made a ruling – but will do so in coming days. Resort officials say they have the right to legally regulate public nudity and that a woman being topless is not the same as a man.
Ocean City is being sued for its topless ban on city beaches. Female toplessness advocate Chelsea Covington and 4 other women filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in January, naming the city, its mayor, police chief, and other city officials. Covington has previously sparred with Ocean City over going barechested on the beach and says she has been searching for attorneys and co-plaintiffs since the ordinance went into effect in May of last year. She says women should be able to go topless on the beach just like men, whereas opponents argue for current public decency laws and standards. Covington’s Lawyer, Devon Jacob, says the law violates his client’s 14th amendment rights to equal protection of the law.