Minnesota Democrat Introduces Legislation to Make it Legal for Women to go Topless, Citing “Gender Identity”

Credit: Minnesota House of Representatives

If one Minnesota Democrat has her way, women and those who identify as female will soon have the right to bare their assets.

As the Star Tribune reported on Sunday, Minnesota State House Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura has proposed amending the state’s law so exposed breasts cannot be considered indecent exposure.

Sencer-Mura told the outlet that she was outraged after learning that a woman had been sentenced to 90 days in jail for going topless in public. She went on to claim the indecent exposure law is outdated given society’s “shifting understanding of gender.”

“That to me just seems really wrong,” Sencer-Mura said. “Particularly now, as we as a society are thinking differently about gender and gender identity, I think this law feels very antiquated.”

“If law enforcement believes that someone identifies as a female, then they’re going to treat them differently if they have their shirt off than they would someone that they perceive to be a male, she continued. “As we have a shifting understanding of gender, that law just doesn’t make sense anymore.”

Indecent exposure in Minnesota is defined as when someone “willfully and lewdly exposes the person’s body or the private parts thereof.” There is an exception for mothers breastfeeding.

But as the Star-Tribune notes, the statute defining indecent exposure does not specify what counts as private parts.

The Star Tribune previously reported that a woman named Eloisa Plancarte was sentenced to 90 days in jail after she was arrested by Rochester police in 2021. Police said Plancarte allegedly walked around a convenience store parking lot with her breasts fully exposed.

Plancarte appealed the conviction, saying it violated her constitutional right to equal protection under the law. She further claimed that men would not be charged if their chests were publicly exposed.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied her appeal in a 2-1 decision. Writing for the majority, Judge Kevin G. Ross mentioned a nearly 40-year-old decision that upheld a conviction for a woman sunbathing topless in Minneapolis Park.

Judge Diane B. Bratvold cast the dissenting vote. She claimed the decision “raises more questions about criminal conduct than it clarifies.”

She also queried whether it would be illegal for a “transgender” man who did not have breast removal surgery to be exposed in public. Judge Jon Schmidt, who upheld the conviction, also said he was concerned the current state law could be used to attack trans people for behavior that was “not lewd.”


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