Duval Street Topless Protest Photos

September 17, 2010 by FKFB  
Filed under Key West, Photos / Slideshows

Key West Women bare it all…well, sort of

July 10, 2010 by FKFB  
Filed under Key West, Law & Politics, Nude News

The Fourth of July held special significance for Tracy Leigh and a group of like-minded women who observed Independence Day by marching topless down Duval Street in Key West to call attention to what they say is a constitutional issue.

Leigh and others, some affiliated with the National Organization for Women, want to be able to go without a shirt anywhere men can; in Florida, a woman going topless in public, with the exception of while breastfeeding, is considered exposure of a sexual organ, a misdemeanor.

Prior to Sunday’s march, City Manager Jim Scholl met with Leigh and her husband Alan in a staging area just off Duval. He left before the march started, but Leigh said he relayed that police would first ask for compliance, then read the applicable law and issue a notice to appear in court if it came to that.

Leigh said she was prepared to be arrested and, in fact, wanted to get the issue to court.

“I would rather just the city repeal the nudity ordinance that they already have,” she said. That law requires women to cover their nipples with anything ranging from pasties to body paint, a la the yearly ribald Fantasy Fest celebration.

“If they will not repeal the nudity ordinance, which is discriminatory against women, which penalizes us, the only way you can do it is through civil disobedience. If that’s the way it has to be, that’s the way it has to be.”

That said, Leigh and the majority of the roughly 20 women participating had their nipples covered most of the time. Her red, white and blue star-shaped pasties eventually came off in the 1100 block of Duval Street, far from the crowded tourist district on the Gulf end of the street.

Key Wester Shawna Lacy Wynd, a mother of two, had her breasts exposed and was warned by police twice of the law and possibility of impending arrest.

“The last one read me the law, so I guess I’m going to cover up,” she told the Keynoter near Eaton Street, where an agitated middle-aged man began yelling: “You ought to think of people’s children.” “Boobies feed babies,” Wynd shot back.

Reactions from onlookers ranged from parents steering their young children to the other side of the street, to apathy. One man on a scooter, speaking more of the demonstrators than their cause, noted, “What a bunch of derelicts.”

Shahdaroba Rodd, a male participant wearing what can only be described as a tie-dyed G-string loin-cloth, detracted from the political message of the march, declaring that he just wanted to see breasts.

There was also the seal of approval from the Southernmost City’s resident homeless population. “Oh my God. Did you see that?” one homeless asked another on the steps of CVS while cracking open a high-gravity canned beer. “Am I blind? Course I saw,” his cohort replied.

Another topless march is planned in Key West for Aug. 22. That’s happening in concert with the national group www.gotopless.org, which, through loose affiliation with local groups, is planning demonstrations nationwide. The date marks the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to American women.

This article was originally posted in the KeyNoter- Wednesday, July 07, 2010 11:00 AM EDT


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