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Sen. Diaz has new solution for topless Times Square

Topless women pose for pictures with tourists in

Topless women pose for pictures with tourists in Times Square on Aug. 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

ALBANY - Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. says he has a way to wrap up the topless Times Square issue: Make everyone wear shirts.

Diaz (D-Bronx) said Friday he will propose a state law to make it illegal for any females or males to go topless in New York City, except for beaches.

New York is one of a few states where courts have found laws banning topless women -- and not men without shirts -- from the public view were unconstitutional.

Diaz said the brazen display of topless women with painted torsos as they mixed with tourists and collected donations forces a revision in the decades-old state law.

"Now we have naked cowboys, topless women doing business and taking photos -- accosting and molesting tourists, a cursing Elmo" and people urinating in the streets, Diaz stated Friday. "All kinds of immorality have returned to Times Square."

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo are considering several measures, including designating Times Square as parkland which would ban panhandling and closing the pedestrian plaza where the women and sometimes aggressive costumed characters roam.

For years, the topless "Naked Cowboy" wearing under shorts, a cowboy hat and cowboy boots has been a tourist attraction as he strolls through Times Square strumming his guitar.

But now change is needed, said Diaz, a conservative minister, because he fears the city is sinking back to the gritty 1970s.

"Times Square was a haven for open prostitution, commercialized sex, selling and using drugs," Diaz wrote in his regular column. "There were used condoms all over the place. People were afraid to take their families -- especially children to Times Square because they didn't want to witness the immoral behavior. Even the streets were dirty."

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