Women and ‘Non-Binary’ People Can Go Topless in Berlin Pools, Diversity Ombudsman Rules

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Women and “non-binary” people with breasts will be able to go topless at Berlin swimming pools after a ruling from the German capital’s diversity ombudsman.

The move follows an appeal to the Senate Department for Justice, Diversity, and Anti-Discrimination in Berlin by a woman who was not allowed to go topless at a pool in the city at the end of 2022, according to a CNN report emphasising the alleged “health benefits of communal open-air nudity”.

Officials decided that, as men are allowed to go topless, the woman had been discriminated against, ruling that henceforth women and the “non-binary” will also be allowed to swim with their chests uncovered.

Dr Doris Liebscher, who heads the city’s ombudsman office, hailed the change, saying: “The ombudsman very much welcomes the decision of the bathing establishments because it creates equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or non-binary and because it also creates legal certainty for the staff in the bathing establishments.”

Berlin is not the first German city to enact such a policy, however, with that honour going to Goettingen in Lower Saxony.

The municipal government in the university city made the change in response to a complaint by a biologically female transman, who was banned from a pool for refusing to cover their breasts on the basis that they were a man, and men did not need to cover their chests.

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