By Jeff Libby
Sentinel Staff Writer
DAYTONA BEACH -- Elizabeth Book, the stay-at-home mom with a rose tattoo, has won the right to bare her breasts in her ongoing fight to go shirtless anywhere men can.
On Saturday at noon, the 40-something "top-free" revolutionary plans to demonstrate her right to protest by dropping her top at the Peabody Auditorium next to three statues of women nude from the waist up.
"I will be as top-free as the statues," Book said Monday in an e-mail to the nudists and naturists who have gathered to support her cause. "This is not over until Daytona is forced to recognize the unconstitutionality of their ordinances and statutes aimed at the American woman's breasts."
Daytona Beach says Book's victory in court June 21 was only temporary and probably will be appealed.
"She should probably save her exuberance for a time when all the appeals have ended," Assistant City Attorney Greg McDole said. "There are a number of appeals left and a number of years before this is a binding precedent."
Book's Orlando attorney Larry Walters said any appeal by the city would be "frivolous at this point."
Volusia County Judge David Beck ended more than a year of legal wrangling last week, ruling that Book, of Ormond Beach, was within her rights when she bared her breasts as part of a political protest during Bike Week in March 2004.
The city's anti-nudity ordinance allows an exemption for nudity that is part of a political protest or other constitutionally protected issue, Beck said, throwing out her arrest and the fine for $253. The city passed the rule in 2002 to curb indecency at special events.
Book has argued that the law unfairly preys on young women who flash their breasts for the crowd. Women should be able to go without shirts wherever men can, Book says.
Book's victory in court does little to help those young women. Revelers showing their breasts for beads and drinks would not be exempted from the city ordinance, Beck said.
"That's a battle for another day," Walters said.