NC panel OKs treating topless women as indecent


A North Carolina

measure approved by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday was a response to topless rallies held the past two years in downtown Asheville. City leaders said they couldn't pass an ordinance against the activity because the state's indecent exposure law was ambiguous.

The bill adds language from a 1998 state Supreme Court ruling in which "private parts" include the female breast. Breaking the indecent exposure law remains a lower-grade misdemeanor. It's a felony if done for satisfying sexual desires.

Breastfeeding women would continue to be exempt and local governments still can regulate sexually oriented businesses.

A vote by the entire state House could come next week.