Nantucket votes on amendment that allows anyone to go topless on beaches


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A Nantucket proposal titled “Gender Equality on Beaches” allowing anyone to go topless on beaches was passed Tuesday at the annual Town Meeting.

The bylaw, proposed by seventh-generation Nantucket resident Dorothy Stover, was passed with a 327-242 vote by the Gender Equality on Beaches, according to WCVB. The next step is for the measure now to be approved by the state attorney general’s office.

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The amendment read: “In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach” in town.”

Current Massachusetts law only allows men to go topless at beaches. Women can face up to three years in jail along with a $300 fine if topless in public, according to WCVB. 

A view of Madaket Beach on April 25, 2020, in Nantucket, Massachusetts. 
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Stover told WBUR that the proposal would help normalize bodies of all shapes and sizes by bolstering an environment of acceptance. She recognized negative reactions to the proposal while also stating she has received an overwhelming number of positive responses. 

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Stover spoke with the Boston Globe, stating there were already plenty of communities with this same amendment already in place. 

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A previous amendment to exempt Children’s and Jetties beaches from the proposal was withdrawn. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  



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