What does TERA
You will answer that question best
by roaming around our site. To start, below are some
excerpts from the Association's constitution.
You may wonder why we were so
specific that our first financial support went towards a
situation in Cambridge, Ontario (paragraph 3A below). We
felt that we had the best chance there to overturn a
repressive and invalid bylaw that forbade women to go
topfree in many places while allowing men to do so. This
bylaw went against the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms as well as a high court decision of December 1996.
It turns out we were right. We
helped overturn the unconstitutional portion of that bylaw.
So now we continue our struggle in other parts of Ontario
and Canada, and help women in the USA too.
Unfortunately in this country, a
municipal council may pass bylaws in opposition to higher
laws. This leaves it up to private individuals to challenge
the bylaws, while the politicians cannot be made responsible
for their actions. The result is large expense for a few
TERA (Topfree Equal Rights
- The primary purpose of the Association is to collect
and distribute funds to be used to assist women who
encounter legal difficulty being topfree in public places
where men are so allowed, and thereby enjoying rights and
freedoms equal to those of men, as guaranteed by the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Human Rights
Act, and other relevant legislation and judicial
- The Association will also, whenever feasible, seek to
inform the public of its position on this issue,
including the following.
- Women have the right to control their own
bodies; in particular, to use their breasts in a
nonsexual manner and have others respect that.
- Women must be allowed to decide for themselves
whether they wish to go topfree, and if so, where and
when, just as men are so allowed.
- Topfree women behaving nonsexually and
noncommercially in a public place are not indecent or
- Requiring women but not men to cover their breasts
in any location constitutes unwarranted discrimination
based on sex.
- Those opposing these positions must be respected
for their personal opinions, fears, or beliefs.
However, they do not have the right to require others
to share them nor thereby to restrict others'
- The Association will establish a fund for the purpose
outlined in clause 1. Priority in funding is established
as follows. In all cases, "expenses" mean primarily legal
expenses and secondarily other expenses which are
directly related to the purposes of the Association.
- To help pay expenses of women such as
Fátima Pereira Henson of Cambridge, Ontario who
decide to swim as unrestrictedly as men in public
swimming pools in Cambridge. This may include but is
not limited to practical or legal challenges of parts
of Cambridge City Council bylaw 72-97, passed on May
- To help pay expenses of other women who are in
similar situations elsewhere in Canada or the USA.