Catharine Pierce is an avid gardener. But unlike many others, she prefers to garden in the nude. Well, actually not entirely nude: she wears a yellow thong, and pink gloves.
The housing authority where she lives threatened to evict her and her husband over the barrage of complaints it received last summer from the neighbors, including mothers who fear that local teenage boys have become far too preoccupied with gardening.
But evicting disruptive tenants proved to be harder than it looked. Despite the complaints, even calls to the police, turns out being nude is not a crime in this Colorado mountain town.
After months of negotiations with the couple failed to resolve the complaints or halt the frequent visits by law enforcement, the landlord’s only hope was for the city council to beef up its nudity rulings. The council was torn. Isn’t it discriminatory to allow men to take off their shirts in public, but not women?
By a 6-3 vote, the council confirmed that Ms. Pierce has the right to go topless in public.
The police have signaled they will stop answering complaints over at the nude gardeners’ house.
The landlord has no choice but to concede it has no legal grounds to evict the couple.
Spring has arrived and the Pierces are busy at work in the garden, while parents are hovering over their children at the nearby school, motorists are slowing down on that stretch of the road, and somewhere a mother is harping on her young son to keep the window shades down in his room.
And that’s the way it’s going to be for awhile to come.
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