Nantucket approves topless beach amendment to by-law: 'to promote equality for all persons'

The law will go into effect once proper signs and notices are in place

Nantucket has approved a bylaw amendment that will allow people to go topless on beaches regardless of gender. 

"In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach within the Town of Nantucket," the new amendment to the Protection of Coastal Areas and Open Spaces bylaw states. 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey approved the bylaw on Tuesday, but it will only go into effect once the town meets appropriate posting and publishing requirements, according to Boston’s regional website. 

The town back in May passed the bylaw with 327 votes in support against 242 votes against – a fraction of the roughly 11,000-person population of the town. The Town Board noted that it received "numerous communications from citizens raising various challenges." 

RED BULL CAN LEFT IN MASSACHUSETTS CASINO LEADS FBI TO MAN SUSPECTED IN 14 BANK ROBBERIES

The board also stressed that approval of a law "in no way implies any agreement or disagreement with any policy views that may have led to the passage of the bylaw," and that approval merely looked at consistency between the new bylaw and existing state law. 

A view of Madaket Beach on April 25, 2020 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The local government is discouraging visitors and seasonal residents from coming to the island due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Nantucket Cottage Hospital has just 14 beds, and has tested 10 positive cases on the island so far.

A view of Madaket Beach on April 25, 2020 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The local government is discouraging visitors and seasonal residents from coming to the island due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Nantucket Cottage Hospital has just 14 beds, and has tested 10 positive cases on the island so far. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The law previously only allowed men to go topless, with a punishment of up to three years in jail along with a $300 fine for a topless woman. 

RED BULL CAN LEFT IN MASSACHUSETTS CASINO LEADS FBI TO MAN SUSPECTED IN 14 BANK ROBBERIES

Nantucket resident Dorothy Stover proposed the law, which gained support among residents. She noted in an interview with the Boston Globe that other communities had similar laws already in place. 

A coronavirus outbreak has been reported on Nantucket. (iStock)

A coronavirus outbreak has been reported on Nantucket. (iStock) (iStock)

"I’m not saying that everybody has to be topless," Stover said at the time. "I want to support the love of the body."

MARYLAND BUSINESSMAN, HARVARD FENCING COACH FACE JURY IN COLLEGE BRIBERY SCANDAL

Stover recognized negative reactions to the proposal while also stating she has received an overwhelming number of positive responses.

A view of a marina in Nantucket Island . Located 50 kms off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is one of the main tourist attractions in the summer time in Massachusetts, and it is the generally referred in Moby Dick, the book written by Herman Melville about the whaling industry that took place in the second half of the Eighteenth Century, an industry whose main port of sailing was the Port of Nantucket.

A view of a marina in Nantucket Island . Located 50 kms off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is one of the main tourist attractions in the summer time in Massachusetts, and it is the generally referred in Moby Dick, the book written by Herman Melville about the whaling industry that took place in the second half of the Eighteenth Century, an industry whose main port of sailing was the Port of Nantucket. (iStock)

Healey said that her office could "discern no conflict between the vote and the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth." 

In a letter from Healey on the subject of the bylaw, Healy did not provide any specific deadline by which posting and publishing requirements must be met, but stressed that the law would only apply to specific beaches and not surrounding areas.  

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

An attempt to exempt certain beaches from the bylaw did not succeed. 

The Town Board proposed a phased implementation of the new law in order to help people acclimate to it. 

Fox News’ Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.