New Zealand judge approves ‘Boobs on Bikes’ parade

August 19th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Aug 19 (DPA) A New Zealand judge ruled Tuesday that a planned parade of topless women on motorcycles down the main street of the country’s biggest city Auckland can go ahead, news reports said.Judge Nicola Mathers rejected the Auckland City Council’s bid for an injunction to stop the so-called “Boobs on Bikes” parade, saying it would not breach the legal threshold of offensiveness.

She said opponents may find the parade offensive or tasteless, but the fact that 80,000 people turned out to watch last year meant a significant number of people did not agree.

The council wanted the parade, scheduled for Wednesday by self-proclaimed Auckland pornography baron Steve Crow, banned under a bylaw it passed recently forbidding offensive behaviour in public places.

Crow, who organises the parade to publicise his annual Erotica Lifestyles Expo, told the judge that a ban would infringe on women’s freedom of expression as guaranteed under New Zealand’s Bill of Rights.

Crow said he started the parade in 2003 as a protest against sexual discrimination, after a woman was arrested for baring her breasts on a city street.

One woman city councillor has vowed to lay down in Queen Street, Auckland’s main thoroughfare, to block the parade.

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