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Proposal to Allow Women to Sunbathe Topless in Venice Beach Heads to LA City Council

The person who proposed the measure said women should have the same rights as men to go topless.

Venice beach in Southern California never falls short of being interesting. Between the world renowned boardwalk with its sometimes circus-like acts and lackadaisical beach culture, the city stays colorful and continues to be a tourist hot spot.

Topless sunbathing may soon be one of the reasons for tourists to visit, or not visit, the street-graffiti laden beach.

A proposal to allow women to soak up the sun sans bikini-top tan lines was supported by the Venice Neighborhood Council Tuesday night.

Melissa Diner, who proposed the measure, said women should have the same rights as men to go topless.

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"It's an equality issue," Diner told the Los Angeles Times. "There's a conversation we're trying to start. ... What do you want to see on Venice Beach?"

Her sentiments were similar to a movement that gained momentum recently called Free The Nipple. The campaign calls itself a "'real life' equality' movement" with a "mission to empower women across the world."

Despite a national movement and the neighborhood council's approval, the proposal wasn't likely to find immediate support at Los Angeles City Hall, with the councilman representing the area saying there were more important issues to address.

"While I appreciate the idea, right now my priorities for Venice are increasing public safety, housing the homeless and protecting affordable housing, reining in overdevelopment, enhancing mobility and improving the delivery of core city services," Councilman Mike Bonin said.

The Venice Neighborhood Council planned to send letters to Bonin, Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials proposing the idea.

So for now, hold on to your tops, currently, it's illegal under city code for people to sunbathe nude or for women to expose their breasts at public parks, including the sandy beach in Venice.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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