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Bare breast ballot finds scant support in small US town

Pittsfield burghers stay covered up

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A ballot measure that would have allowed women to walk around bare-breasted has failed to find support among voters in a small town in Massachusetts.

The non-binding measure put to voters in one district in Pittsfield proposed mandating the district's state legislator to press for a change to the state's definition of nudity.

The intent was to allow any female to be unclothed from the waist up anywhere that males were permitted to do the same.

Presumably this would've meant many public spaces, though probably not more formal venues where men are required to remain fully-clothed – such as churches, schools or the local Hooters.

However, the Berkshire Eagle reports that on the day, voters came down firmly on the No side when it came to the breast-baring measure, and it was rejected by 70 per cent of votes.

Jim Watroba of Pittsfield told the paper the measure was a waste of time when it came to the local burghers. "They're not doing this anywhere in public," he said.

The proponents of the bill are unlikely to let that stop them though. The key pusher, Katherine Gundelfinger has mounted similar petitions in the past.

There does appear to be a swelling body of opinion in the US in favour of amending nudity laws, spearheaded by GoTopless.org.

Pittsfield was probably not the place to start this particular revolution. The voters may not have objected to nudity per se, but rather the prospect of having the first letter of their town name changed to a T in the popular imagination. ®

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