Raelians Threaten Legal Action to Secure Women's Constitutional Right to Go Topless
But this year, the protest includes threats of possible legal action to either force cities to allow toplessness by women or force men to wear tops.
GoTopless.org announced Wednesday that it plans Aug. 22 events in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Miami and Honolulu to protest what it calls “a woman's constitutional right to go bare-chested in public.”
During the protests, participating women will go topless, while male participants will be asked to cover their chests by wearing bikini tops or bras, the organization said in a release.
GoTopless.org is sponsored by the “Raelian Movement,” a self-described “atheistic religion” founded and led by Rael, a former French race car driver and journalist who claims to have had an encounter with a UFO alien who purportedly told him that human life on Earth was the creation of alien scientists--not God.
Raelians also claim to have already cloned a human being.
"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," Rael said.
Previous events have been small, but the Raelians, citing the 14th Amendment, threaten to use the legal system to obtain what they want.
"We will force men to legally cover up if women can't go bare," said Nadine Gary, a self-described “Raelian Priestess” and president of GoTopless.org. "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 fact that families and children may be uncomfortable around topless women is an “excuse” that “mustn’t be considered,” comparing it to the argument used by “defenders of segregation laws 50 years ago.”
"Those laws were abolished nevertheless," Gary said. “Thankfully, the U.S. Constitution isn't swayed by racism or Puritanism for the benefit of families and children."
Last week, the city council of Santa Fe, N.M., turned down a city ordinance to ban toplessness by women because council members feared they could later be sued for violating gender equal rights.