Ocean City, Maryland – (June 9, 2017): Despite many reports and social media posts, the Town of Ocean City is not a topless beach and will not become a topless beach, town officials pledge. The intent of the policy that is being reported on was strictly for our Beach Patrol employees. Lifeguards in Ocean City are expected to have their eyes on the ocean, as the safety of our swimmers is their first priority. The town’s police department, on the other hand, will respond to calls from the Beach Patrol and complaints from our beach patrons, should any activity of toplessness occur.
“The Mayor and City Council are unanimously opposed to women being topless on our beach or in any public area in Ocean City,” stated Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “While we respect Ms. Covington’s desire to express what rights she believes she may have, Ocean City is a family resort and we intend to do whatever is within our ability to also protect the rights of those families that visit us each year.”
This matter was brought to the town’s attention when the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office received a request from a woman, Chelsea Covington, who believed it was her constitutional right to be bare-chested on Ocean City’s beach. At that time, the State’s Attorney reached out to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on the matter, which the Town of Ocean City is still anxiously awaiting.