Dec 28, 2015 8:39 PM

Organizer of 'Free the Nipple' movement stands trial in Laconia for displaying breasts on beach

LACONIA - Free the Nipple organizer Heidi Lilly appeared in Laconia District Court Monday morning after getting arrested in September with 28-year-old Barbara MacKinnon for taking their tops off at Gilford Beach.

"For me it’s about the rape culture, it’s about body shaming, it’s about slut shaming. It’s about a lot of things," Lilly told NH1 News.

Some beach-goers such as Melanie D'agata stated that seeing the topless women was disturbing and offended them and their children.

"She actually came running out of the water and said, 'Mama I have an emergency' and she was pointing to the women on the beach," D'agata said in court on the stand. "I then asked, 'Do you realize that this is a private beach and nudity isn’t allowed?' And someone responded we’re not nude. And I said 'Well, the group of 12-year-old boys over there that requested you get dressed believe you are.' "

Lilly, along with the Free the Nipple movement believe that laws in Gilford and other towns across New Hampshire forbidding women from displaying their breasts in public is unconstitutional.

"In light of society's norms now evolving that's the whole goal or one of the goals for Free the Nipple is to get this to be an acceptable behavior," Defense attorney Dan Hynes said.

A ruling is expected to happen in the coming weeks.

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