Can You Legally Sunbathe Topless In North Dakota? Asking For A Friend.
Not exactly sunbathing weather in Bismarck today, (another 40 degree raw day) but the forecast looks promising late next week. Couple friends and myself were recently enjoying a cold beverage in the garage, and the topic of sunbathing topless came up. This is very common of course over in Europe, but not so much in America. Somebody asked if it's even legal in North Dakota? I had no idea, but it sounded like a fact finding mission to me.
Here's what the state of North Dakota has to say about nudity in public. According to an article in the Grand Forks Herald, the law is ambiguous at best. “A person, with intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify that person’s lust, passions or sexual desires is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if that person exposes one’s "lower" private parts in a public place or in a private place.” Hmmm, nothing about breasts. So technically, you can show the girls off.
However, be warned. Cities across North Dakota may have their own set of laws on going topless. For example, in that same article, the city of Grand Forks says, Grand Forks city code bans topless sunbathing in public places. According to local law, it is unlawful to appear “on any street, avenue, highway, road, park, sidewalk, bike path, beach, beach front or waterway located in the city, or appear in any public place, store or business in a state of nudity.” The code notes that it includes “female breasts.”
Fargo on the other hand, there is no city law concerning going topless in public. According to another InForum article, there's no city law in Fargo stating women need to wear a top in public, but they still have to be careful. Local pools may have dress codes. If they ask you to leave, you must leave. Not breaking the law though.
So how about the city of Bismarck on the subject? I had the mayor of Bismarck check with the city attorney, but she was not available to comment at the time of this article. I will update when I get the info.
Minnesota recently passed a law in 2020 where it's now legal for women to sunbathe topless. It's also legal in South Dakota.
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