Today I saw a letter to the editior in the online version of the Las Vegas Sun, entitled Toplessness law is discriminatory in which the writer expressed the opinion that laws against toplessness are inherently unconstitutional, because they’re aimed at women only, and that’s gender-based discrimination. (No argument here). He went on to talk about the “Top Free 7” incident in Rochester, NY back in the mid-1980s when 7 women were arrested and charged with exposing their breasts in a public park. The women went to court, alleging that statutes against toplessness were gender discrimination, and part of a concurring opinion from the Court of Appeals of New York’s ruling in 1992 follows:
The People (state of New York) have offered nothing to justify a law that discriminates against women by prohibiting them from removing their tops and exposing their bare chests in public as men are routinely permitted to do. The mere fact that the statute’s aim is the protection of ‘public sensibilities’ is not sufficient to satisfy the state’s burden of showing an ‘exceedingly persuasive justification’ for a classification that expressly discriminates on the basis of sex.
I agree with the writer that laws prohibitng women from being topless in situations where it’s OK for man to do so are discriminatory. What caught my attention was a comment in response to the writer’s question, “When will the clubs file similar lawsuits here in Las Vegas?”
We cannot allow anyone topless in Las Vegas. It might stain our image as a family vacation site with wholesome entertainment and fun games for all.
I sincerely hope that comment was sarcastic. Las Vegas, the last I’d heard, had pretty much given up on trying to be a family vacation destination. With advertising slogans like “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, it doesn’t sound family-friendly to me. Yet, despite their somewhat sordid reputation as Sin City, they are surprisingly prudish.
Though it’s been a while, I’ve been to Las Vegas many times and it has never appealed to me. Gambling is not in my list of vices and I’ve never cared for Vegas-style entertainment such as the extravagant floor shows.
It seems to me that Las Vegas is gaudy, flash without content, and they have a strong tendency to pervert whatever they touch. For instance, I would encourage any woman to try “European-style” (topless) sunbathing but not in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas version is a sleazy way to provide eye-candy to draw in oversexed males with money to spend. Not only that but they have ridiculous restrictions. The topless female guest can only be topless while actually sunbathing. She can’t walk around or get in the pool topless. What’s the point in that? The sole purpose of it is to put your wife/girlfriend on display for a bunch of drunken horny bastards and have you pay for the privilege.
That’s just MY opinion, which may or may not reflect the opinion of the management.