Nantucket Voters Approve Measure to Allow Anyone to Go Topless on Beaches
Nantucket Town Meeting voters on Tuesday night approved a measure that will allow any person to go topless on the island’s beaches, 327-242.
The warrant article, entitled “Gender Equality on Beaches” and proposed by seventh-generation islander Dorothy Stover, calls for an addition to the town’s bylaws that reads, "In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach within the town of Nantucket.”
Stover, who is nicknamed “Naughty Dottie” and who runs the Nantucket Love School, always contended that the measure was about equality and not sexuality.
"This Citizen's Warrant article is looking for equality, for all genders, for all Nantucket beaches," Stover told WBSM’s Phil Paleologos back in February. "Currently, the law states anyone over the age of five is to have a top on at the beach. I'm looking to make the law equal for all genders."
Stover took to Instagram following the Town Meeting vote.
“It’s very surreal, very exciting,” Stover said in an Instagram video posted after the meeting. “My legs were shaking the whole time I spoke tonight. It was a wild experience, the first time I’ve ever spoken at Town Meeting, the first article.”
Stover congratulated all of those who supported the measure, and stated excitedly, “Top Freedom for Nantucket!” She also took a moment to reflect on her mother, longtime Nantucket Town Clerk Catherine Stover, who passed away in 2018.
“It was definitely a little bittersweet,” she said. “I was missing my momma, who would’ve been there, but I felt her and felt her pushing me this whole time. My aunt, while I was speaking tonight, found a quarter, which is money from heaven, like my mom was there with me.”
Although voters approved the measure, it still has to be approved by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey before it can go into effect.
“We still have to go to the state level, so we’ll see, but thank you everyone for the support and the love,” Stover said in her video message. “It’s been wild.”