Tagami v. City of Chicago, No. 16-1441 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Tagami supports GoTopless, a nonprofit organization that advocates for a woman’s right to bare her breasts in public. She participated in the group’s annual “GoTopless Day” by walking around Chicago unclothed from the waist up, having applied “opaque” body paint to her breasts. A police officer ticketed her for violating an ordinance, which states: Any person who shall appear … in such a manner that the genitals, vulva, pubis, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus, anal region, or pubic hair region of any person, or any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola thereof of any female person, is exposed to public view or is not covered by an opaque covering, shall be fined. Tagami was ordered to pay a $100 fine. Tagami sued, claiming that the ordinance violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and discriminates on the basis of sex in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of both claims. Being in a state of nudity is not an inherently expressive condition; Tagami did not offer any facts from which it might reasonably be inferred that onlookers would have readily understood that this was actually a political protest against the public indecency ordinance. The ordinance survives intermediate scrutiny as a sex-based classification.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 11, 2017.