Bill Would Make Baring Female Breasts In Public A Felony

Feb 1, 2013

A bill filed at the state legislature would make baring female breasts in public a felony. The bill comes as some lawmakers have received complaints about a topless rally in Asheville last summer. Many attorneys say it's fair to infer from state statutes and court decisions that bare breasts are like other so-called "private parts" of the body- and if they're revealed, charges of indecent exposure could be filed. Republican representative Rayne Brown says the bill, if passed, would help local law enforcement and district attorneys be sure that women who bare their breasts in public are breaking the law.

"What we have done is just clarify. Because we want cities to feel like they're on some footing, we want counties to feel that way, in terms of what the law actually says, in terms of what the law actually does."

The bill makes an exemption for breastfeeding in public, which is already legal under state law.