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Venice Beach Votes in Topless Sunbathing, ‘It’s an Equality Issue’

The Venice Neighborhood Council, in a resounding 12-2 vote, approved the allowance of female topless bathing at legendary Venice Beach.

The council expressed that it “supports women being afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Tuesday meeting focused on the issue, and the council concluded that the neighborhood is a “safe haven for liberal views and free expression.” The Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti will have the final say in the matter.

Melissa Diner, a Venice Neighborhood Council community officer who sponsored the resolution, explained that “It’s an equality issue. There’s a conversation we’re trying to start… What do you want to see on Venice Beach?”

The more liberal regulation of sunbathing attire is in lockstep with the city’s historic European roots. Venice, founded by Abbot Kinney at the turn of the 20th century, was built on reclaimed marshland. Venice of America was a planned community constructed in the style of the Venetian Renaissance, replete with canals serpentining their way throughout the city.

The Venice Neighborhood Council aims to make it easier for women to bare their breasts rather than having to journey overseas to the Italian Riviera.

The current Los Angeles Municipal Code, which prohibits topless sunbathing reads:

No person shall appear, bathe, sunbathe, walk or be in any public park, playground, beach or the waters adjacent thereto, in such a manner that the genitals, vulva, pubis, pubic symphysis, pubic hair, buttock, natal cleft, perineum, anus, anal region, or pubic hair region of any such person, or any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola thereof of any such female person, is exposed to public view or is not covered by an opaque covering.

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