What you need to know about Nantucket’s topless beach proposal


“In order to promote equality for all people, everyone should be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach.”

A proposed bylaw amendment would allow everyone to go topless on all Nantucket beaches. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) – A woman whose family has lived in Nantucket for seven generations wants to give everyone, regardless of gender, the right to take off their tops on the beaches of the Massachusetts resort island.

Dorothy Stover has proposed an amendment to the by-law titled ‘Gender Equality on Beaches’ which will be discussed at a town hall meeting in May and reads in part: ‘In order to promote equality for all people, everyone must be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach” in town.

She told the Cape Cod weather for a story on Monday, the state law that only allows men to take off their tops in public “is really antiquated.”

Stover, 40, hopes allowing anyone who chooses to be topless on the beach will help people feel less safe about their bodies.

Even if the measure passes at the town hall on May 2, it will not take effect immediately, said town clerk Nancy Holmes.

Any changes to the articles of association must be approved by the state attorney general.

“I don’t see it being approved until September,” Holmes said.

It’s also possible that the measure will pass and not be approved by the state, or require a change in state laws on overt and gross obscenity.


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