A Federal Court judge ordered a victory for women's breasts Friday, but the legal battle for complete freedom for the mammary glands continues.

Judge Beth Phillips issued the order after being asked to do so by both sides in a lawsuit filed by two Springfield, Missouri women, Jessica Lawson and Amber Hutchison, in 2015 against the City of Springfield. In that lawsuit, which also featured the organization Free The Nipple-Springfield, an offshoot of the national Free the Nipple group, asked that a city ordinance prohibiting bare breasts be declared unconstitutional. Free the Nipple believes that women are discriminated against because they are not allowed to show their breasts in public, while there are no such barriers for men.

The plaintiffs are represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Officials: women's breasts not tourist-friendly

The order came after an agreement was reached by the two sides that a city ordinance that was passed in response to an August 26, 2015, protest in Park Central Square in Springfield. At that protest, women, marching with their nipples covered with small bandages and men who covered theirs in solidarity, brought a type of attention to Springfield that did not please city officials. The ordinance was passed, according to the lawsuit, because Springfield officials thought "women's breasts undermined Springfield's mission to become a more tourist-friendly city."

The new ordinance prohibited showing female breasts "below a point immediately above the top of the areola" to cause sexual arousal "or which is likely to cause affront or alarm." The law permitted breastfeeding and the display of women's breasts for purposes of adult entertainment.

It was the phrase "or which is likely to cause affront or alarm" that enabled Springfield officials to interpret the law in such a way as to ban anything that offended them and that clearly posed a constitutional challenge. This is something city officials must have realized since they repealed the ordinance in March 2016, even as the lawsuit was pending. In its place, the Springfield City Council reinstated the ordinance that had been in place.

New petition filed, Free the Nipple fight for women's breasts continues

After the City Council repealed the ordinance, the ACLU was back in court, filing an amended petition opposing the replacement and falling more in line with the Free the Nipple belief that men being allowed to walk in public bare-chested while women are deprived of that opportunity is gender discrimination. The amended petition also continued the action taken against the earlier ordinance claiming it had done damage to Springfield women.

Friday's ruling, reached after an agreement between the two sides and approved by Judge Phillips, prohibits the City of Springfield from ever reinstating the August 2015 ordinance and pays $750 each to Jessica Lawson and Amber Hutchison.

Free the Nipple-Springfield will not receive any money. The court case against the current (and former) Springfield city ordinance continues.