Minnesota Lawmaker’s Controversial Proposal: Legalizing Toplessness for Women, Citing ‘Gender Identity’

Minnesota legislators want to make it legal for females to go topless in public. This is after a woman was jailed for “indecent display” of her breasts.

Samantha Sencer-Mura, Minnesota House Rep., told The Star Tribune that the conviction “seems wrong”. “This law is very outdated, especially now that we are changing our minds about gender and gender identities as a society.”

Sencer-Mura, a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, admitted that her proposal would likely not be heard this year, but she hopes it will spark widespread discussions on shifts in gender identity and expression.

Eloisa Plancarte received a 90-day sentence in jail after being arrested by Rochester Police in 2021. They responded to an anonymous call reporting that a woman had been walking around the parking lot of a convenience store with her breasts exposed.

Plancarte filed an appeal and argued that the conviction violated her constitutional rights to equal protection of the law. She pointed out that men wouldn’t be charged for exposing their chests in public. The Minnesota Court of Appeals voted 2-1 later to uphold this decision.

In his motion to deny appeal, Judge Kevin G. Ross referred to a decision from nearly 40 years ago that confirmed a conviction of a woman seen in Minneapolis Park sunbathing without a top.

The woman judge, Diane B. Bratvold dissenting on the case, said the decision “raises more questions about criminal behavior than it answers.”

She also asked if it was illegal for a man transgender who had not undergone breast removal surgery to appear in public. Judge Jon Schmidt who upheld this conviction expressed concern for the transgender community.

Sencer-Mura told reporters that the current law allows officers too much latitude when it comes to a suspect’s gender identity. She co-authored this proposed amendment with Democratic Rep. Brion CURRAN.

Sencer-Mura explained that if law enforcement thinks that someone is a woman, they will treat her differently if she has taken off her shirt than a man they believe to be. “We have a changing understanding of gender and that law doesn’t make any sense anymore.”

Minnesota law defines indecent disclosure as an act where someone “willfully exposes or lewdly displays the body of a person, or their private parts.”