Reuters –  Leaders in the Los Angeles beach district of Venice have asked that women be allowed to sunbathe nude on the beach, saying they want equality and a more European feel at the popular tourist destination, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Venice Neighborhood Council voted 12-2 to approve the recommendation, saying it "supports women being afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless," according to Los Angeles Times and local KTLA-TV news.

The council also noted that Venice Beach, known for its boardwalk of shops and offbeat character, was founded and designed after Venice, Italy, and cultivated a more European sensibility.

The recommendation will be sent to the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti for consideration. A spokesman for Garcetti appeared to pour cold water on the idea.

"I think it's safe to say that most of our constituents would rather we keep our eyes on more pressing problems facing our city," said Yusef Robb, the mayor's director of communications.

Topless sunbathing is legal on a number of California beaches but barred in Los Angeles County, where a local ordinance prohibits the display of genitals or "any portion of the (female) breast at or below the upper edge of the areola."

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