San Francisco has been sued by nudists over a proposed ban on nudity, which they call an attack on their civil rights.
The ordinance would impose a $100 fine for a first offense, a $200 fine for a second offense and with the third offense, nudists could be slapped with a $500 fine or be charged with a misdemeanor crime, reports USA Today.
According to San Jose Mercury News, the nudity ban, proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener, is to be voted on by the board on Tuesday. The ban would prevent anyone from exposing their buttocks or genitals in San Francisco's plazas, parklets, streets, sidewalks or on public transportation.
San Francisco seems to have a robust nudist population with many choosing to hang out around Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro District, which has led to several complaints, notes the Mercury News.
The story would not be complete without a fully nude rally and that's just what happened in front of City Hall. According to Gypsy Taub, a nudist who helped organize the demonstration, the proposed ban on nudity would "take away our freedom to be ourselves in our own city."
Not everyone in attendance was nude, but the nudists had plenty of support from clothed individuals. The nudist's attorney, Christina DiEdoardo, described the proposed law as restricting First Amendment rights. She also said no new law is needed since others on the books could be used to limit certain aspects of public nudity, such as genital adornments, which DiEdoardo believes Wiener is really targeting.
According to a blog post by DiEdoardo, “What’s needed is not additional laws, but enforcement of existing laws. That would solve the 'problem' of the nudists with c***rings, to the extent it’s not anecdoctal [sic] and actually exists. With regard to the wider issue of those who object to nude people in public, there’s an easy remedy which costs no public money, requires no court time and consumes no scarce jail space: look away.”
According to DiEdoardo, the proposed ban will not extend to fairs or parades such as the popular Folsom Street Fair, a gay leather event.