NANTUCKET, Mass. (WPRI) — Nantucket is one step closer to making all beaches on the island topless.
There are currently beaches on the island where locals know them as clothing-optional, but residents voted 327-242 Tuesday night to make all beaches topless.
The measure is called “Gender Equality on Beaches” and it reads in part: “In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach within the town of Nantucket.”
Dorothy Stover, the woman who drafted the measure, calls it “top freedom” for all genders.
“Being topless is not being nude, this bylaw would not make beaches nude beaches. This bylaw would allow tops to be optional for anyone that chooses to be topless,” she explained.
Stover’s family has lived on Nantucket for seven generations and she is the daughter of the former town clerk. She is also a self-proclaimed love and pleasure educator.
The bylaw was introduced during day two of Nantucket’s annual town meeting and it garnered 30 minutes of responses from voters.
“It’s your actions, it’s your behavior, your mentality that proves that you are equal to any male, and any male is not superior to any female,” one woman said. “I don’t need to vote in favor of going topless at the Jetties to prove that we are equal in this world.”
The current state law says only men can go topless in public and women can face a penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $300 if they do so.
“I understand what Miss Williams has to say. There’s a part of me that feels that too, but when it comes down to the real nitty-gritty on it as to what is and what is not fair, I don’t think it’s fair. I can do it, they can’t, I don’t get it,” one man added.
The measure now needs Attorney General Maura Healey’s signature to become effective. A spokesperson for her office told 12 News that once the town clerk sends them the bylaw packet, they’ll have 90 days to review it and make a determination, so he expects that decision to come down sometime this summer or early fall.