Los Angeles Times

Equal noncoverag­e at Berlin’s pools

After discrimina­tion complaint, state says all may swim topless.


BERLIN — Women in Berlin will soon be allowed to go topless at the city’s public swimming pools, the Berlin state government said Thursday.

The new bathing rules allowing everyone to go swimming without covering their torsos followed a discrimina­tion complaint by a woman who was not allowed to go topless in a swimming pool in the capital.

The woman, whose identity was not revealed, had turned to the Senate’s ombudspers­on’s office for equal treatment to demand that women, like men, can swim topless, the Berlin panel for justice, diversity and antidiscri­mination said in a written statement.

In reaction to the complaint and the ombudspers­on’s involvemen­t in the case, the Berliner Baederbetr­iebe, which runs the city’s public pools, decided to change its clothing rules, the statement said.

“The ombudspers­on’s office very much welcomes the decision of the Baederbetr­iebe, because it establishe­s equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or nonbinary, and because it also creates legal certainty for the staff at the Baederbetr­iebe,” said Doris Liebscher, the head of the ombudspers­on’s office.

In the past, women who bared their breasts at Berlin pools were asked to cover themselves or to leave the pool, and were sometimes banned from returning.

“Now it is important that the regulation is applied consistent­ly and that no more expulsions or house bans are issued,” Liebscher said.

It was not clear when exactly the new bathing rules would be applied.

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