LAS VEGAS, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The women's rights organization GoTopless has just received 501c3 tax exemption status from the Internal Revenue Service*1, thereby making all donations to the organization tax deductible, according to a statement released by GoTopless this morning.
"This is wonderful news on top of the great turnout we had at our Go Topless Pride Parades and other events held in over 60 cities worldwide on Sunday," said Nadine Gary, President of GoTopless. "August 24 was our 7th annual GoTopless Day, which was timed to honor Women's Equality Day. There was a great turnout for our pride parades and other events, with thousands of men and women showing up to support our mission, so how appropriate this is that we have received our tax-exempt status the very same week! All contributions to GoTopless will now be tax deductible."
She said the GoTopless mission is to achieve the right for women anywhere in the world to go topless legally in public wherever men have that right.
"With the federal government now granting us public charity status, it seems more and more ridiculous for certain states and municipalities to continue banning female toplessness," Gary said.
Yet local laws forbidding it are still very common.
"For example, one of our activists, Sonoko Tagami, was cited for indecent exposure last weekend on Chicago's North Lake Shore Drive*2 even though her nipples were covered and the supposedly exposed breast was actually painted on," Gary pointed out.
Gary said Tagami and GoTopless will fight the citation through the court system.
"The citation was unconstitutional," Gary said. "Equal topless rights for women is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution under the 14th Amendment."
Gary said that in most cities where GoTopless parades were held, police escorted the bare-chested participants through the streets to avoid problems.
"In San Antonio, we were surrounded by men carrying rifles on their shoulders," said Michelle Laforce, the GoTopless organizer for that city. "I guess they thought the purpose of our peaceful demonstration was to make them give their weapons back."
"In Los Angeles, conservative Christians came to remind everyone that our exposure of female breasts would send us to hell," Gary said. "Violence and threats were their answers to our peaceful protest. But fortunately, those people were a minority. The huge crowds that gathered in cities like New York and Vancouver were highly supportive. And more and more women are daring to join our topless parties."
"Our goal is to make the public aware of the unconstitutionality of the current situation, eliminate the double standard and free women from thousands of years of sex related submission" Gary said. "Our new 501c3 tax-exempt status will be a big help in raising public awareness of this issue."