Now this is an interesting case for statutory interpretation. Police were called this weekend to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware after a group of transgender males exposed their “acquired breasts” — leading to complaints. This must have been the missing episode from Bay Watch.
The incident occurred around 5 pm and the police officer determined that at least two men appeared to have breast implants. He told them that they were violating the law, but were they?
Here are the indecent exposure laws:
ARTICLE III Offenses Against Morals (§ 198-12 — § 198-19)
[Adopted 11-8-1974 as Ch. 11, Art. 8, of the 1974 Code] § 198-12 Indecent exposure.
[Amended 8-13-1993 by Ord. No. 893-2]
A male is guilty of indecent exposure if he exposes his genitals or buttocks under circumstances which he knows his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to another person.
A female is guilty of indecent exposure if she exposes her genitals, breasts or buttocks under circumstances which she knows her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to another person.
Editor’s Note: Former § 11-56, Wearing apparel, amended 7-11-1975 by Ord. No. 775-1, was repealed 7-11-1980 by Ord. No. 780-2.
§ 198-13 Topless bathing suits prohibited.
No female over the age of five years shall wear a topless bathing suit or otherwise fail to cover her breasts with less than a full opaque covering of any portion thereof below the upper portion of the nipple.
The express language of the law allows men to expose their breasts. Even if the men declared themselves to be women (which does not appear to be the case here), the law does not appear to allow such unilateral re-definition — otherwise women could claim to be men to sunbathe topless. Absent a sex change operation, they fall within the statutory definition of a male. Moreover, many men do not need “enhancements” or implants to develop such borderline criminal elements.
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