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Mar 31, 2016 3:15 PM

Laconia plans to enforce ordinance forbidding women from exposing their nipples

LACONIA - Police in Laconia plan to enforce a 1998 city ordinance prohibiting women from showing their nipples in public despite a judge's ruling in a neighboring town.

According to the Laconia Daily Sun, police Chief Chris Adams said he has been advised by the city attorney that Laconia's ordinance can be enforced.

The local law was adopted to curb certain behaviors during Motorcycle Week when women were encouraged to reveal their breasts. More recently, several communities, including Laconia, have been targeted by a group called Free the Nipple, which advocates for equal rights for women to go topless along with men and seeks to de-sexualize the female nipple.

Judge James Carroll, in a case involving Gilford and a Free the Nipple advocate, determined that town could not enforce a similar ordinance because nothing in state law prohibits women from exposing their breasts in public places.

Under the Laconia ordinance, it is unlawful "for any person to knowingly or intentionally aid, induce or cause another" to commit acts prohibited by the ordinance. Violations of the ordinance carry fine of $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

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