By D.B. Amburgey, @UmbrellaCafe | Multimedia Journalist – SoSoActive
Sonoko Tagami, 41, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago claiming that the city’s ordinance regarding indecent exposure is unconstitutional.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Tagami, was ticketed on August 24, 2014 for being topless during an event to promote women’s rights. The event sponsored by GoTopless, a not-for-profit organization that “advocates for the right of women to appear bare-chested in public,” something Tagami has actively supported for several years, each time appearing in public with “opaque body paint” covering just enough of her breasts to comply with the city’s decency law.
Opting to take her support for this cause further, Tagami had the case heard by an administrative law judge last month, where she was fined $100 plus court fees.
As reported in the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit claims the Chicago’s ordinance barring women from exposing “any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola” is unconstitutionally vague and a violation of free speech. Additionally, the suit also alleges that since men are excluded from the ordinance, it violates women’s rights to equal protection under the law.
Sonoko Tagami and her Husband discuss their thoughts about the municipal court ruling.
Tagami’s attorney, Kenneth Flaxman, said Tagami had never had a problem at demonstrations in the city before this year.
“She was out there for several years making a statement about the absurdity of the law, and each time she had opaque body paint and the cops thought it was cute,” Flaxman said. “l guess this time the cops didn’t think it was OK.”
A video of the incident shows Tagami wearing a purple dress with the top pulled down and her breasts painted a pale white. A female Chicago police officer told Tagami in the video that she needed to pull up her dress or risk arrest, in which Tagami complied but was still ticketed.
Flaxman claims the city’s ordinance should be rewritten, that in addition to being hard to understand, it effectively bans clothing that many women wear every day, from low cut dresses to tops exposing the sides of their breasts.
“There is a lot of clothing that women wear that is illegal under this law,” he said.Google+