DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Skin was hoping to be in today at Honeymoon Island State Park.
A group called Tampa Area Naturists organized an event called Top-Free Equality Day, where women can go to a certain beach at the park topless. However, that event was canceled after the group couldn’t raise the permit fees.
“Free speech is supposed to be free,” said John Palm, the president and co-founder of Tampa Area Naturists or TAN. He said they needed $2,000 for the fees.
“The permit fee itself, they want $500 for. Off-duty rangers for the day, they would like $560. There is also a requirement for an insurance policy for the day which would run about $400. We are required to purchase screening materials, which would cost another $300. We are hoping they will waive the fees, if not, we may do some kind of fundraiser to cover it because there is a tremendous amount of interest in this event,” said Palm.
He still encourages people to sign the petition to help make a permanent change.
“Women are looking for an achievement in equality. They don’t want to be discriminated against. They want to have the same right to enjoy the beach without a top. The same as a man can,” Palm said.
Palm, who identifies as a naturist – or nudist – tells 8 On Your Side the topless event was supposed to coincide with Women’s Equality Day.
TAN has held a Top-Free Equality Day at Honeymoon Island State Park in the past.
“The event went very smoothly, without a hitch. No problems at all. We were there for the full day and handed out literature and we displayed signs and collected signatures on a petition, and it went so well that rangers said we should do it more often,” said Palm.
“Florida law allows for women to be topfree. The park code is not allowing for women to be top-free and we are looking for a change in the park code,” said Palm.