Pittsburgh leaders mulling topless rally request

Updated:

PITTSBURGH (AP) (AP)ong> - Pittsburgh officials are mulling the legality of a rally planned by a group that hopes to celebrate Women's Equality Day by having women march topless alongside men in bikinis.

The organizers of GoTopless.org told Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE that they believe it's unfair that women cannot be topless in public while men can.

"There is no equal right less important than the other," said Donna Newman, a spokeswoman for the group. "I'm not saying you should walk through the grocery store without your top on, but if it's legal for men, it should be legal for women, too,"

The Mayor's Office has yet to issue a permit for Saturday's march, and city Public Safety Director Michael Huss said he's not sure the rally would be legal -- with or without a permit -- under the state's indecent exposure law.

"We do allow, for instance, some protests without a permit," Huss said. "It has to do with freedom of speech, so we allow it. I have to look, but it doesn't seem like we'll be able to allow this."

A similar rally planned in Asheville, N.C., last year drew hundreds of people, instead of thousands expected by organizers, and only about a dozen women willing to go topless.