ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A group of nearly 70 protesters took to the University of New Mexico campus Sunday with a big message. They were lacking one thing, their shirts.
The group, part of the national organization, Go Topless, said its main goal is to acquire gender equality when it comes to men and women going topless.
“We just want the same rules for both,” Andrea Runyan said. “So we made the men cover their nipples too.”
According to the group’s site, there are three states that prohibit women from showing their breasts in public; it’s illegal in Indiana, Tennessee and Utah.
However, New Mexico state law states, “Indecent exposure consists of exposing primary genitals.” There is never any mention of the word “breast.”
UNM police also said the university operates under state law. Therefore, according to UNM police, the group never violated any law and wouldn’t have even if protesters had been showing their nipples.
Lieutenant Timothy Stump said the department never received any complaints about the group Sunday night.
“If they want to walk around shirtless, there are consequences,” Nicholas DiazLlera said. “Unfortunately if they are bad, that’s something they’ll have to consider when they decide to do that.”
The scene caused an uproar on social media. Some parents were outraged because of one picture, a picture of a child attending the event.
“I can see why people would not like it. Some parents wouldn’t be comfortable with their children being around it,” Kim Nijenhuis said.
There are individual ordinances in different cities that prohibit women from showing their nipples and the group aims to change those laws.