Venice Beach council wants women to be able to sunbathe topless again

Hub Telegram: Forty years ago, a cadre of Venice Beach sunbathers routinely basked in the altogether.

The Venice Neighborhood Council thinks the time is ripe to take a half-step back to that time of physical freedom. In a 12-2 vote Tuesday, the council said it “supports women being afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless.”

The city and county of Los Angeles prohibit nude or topless sunbathing. But Melissa Diner, the Venice council community officer who sponsored the resolution,said the panel would draft letters to Councilman Mike Bonin, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which has jurisdiction over the beach, calling for Venice to be exempted.

“I think this is a serious equality issue, and I’m not going to shy away from it,” Diner, 32, said Wednesday. The wave of publicity that instantly followed the decision had done exactly what she’d hoped: “start a conversation about not only wanting to show our nipples on Venice Beach but about what else people want to see.”

“Venice Beach was founded and designed around the European culture of Venice, Italy,” the neighborhood council said, “and … topless [sun]bathing is commonplace throughout Europe, much of the rest of the world and many places within the U.S.”

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