Group Sues San Francisco Over Open-Air Urinal (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Open-Air Public UrinalOpen-Air Public Urinal

The San Francisco Chinese Christian Union, a group of churches, and neighbors of the Mission Dolores Park filed a lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco on April 14 in opposition to an open-air urinal in the park (video below).

The lawsuit described the partially covered urinal as a "shameful," notes the Los Angeles Times. The suit also asserted the urinal discriminates against gender and disability, and violates health and plumbing ordinances.

The urinal -- a concrete slab with a drain and partial fence -- was built in January as a way to curb public urination.

The lawsuit alleges: "The open-air urination hole violates the privacy of those who need to use the restroom but would be required to expose their bodies and suffer the shame and degradation of urinating in public view. Seclusion in bodily evacuation is a societal norm and constitutes one of the most basic expectations for privacy."

No one in the city has to use the urinal, but the lawsuit alleges: "The hole provided for open-air urination is particularly egregious for women and girls," and insists females "would be subject to extreme embarrassment in a measure not experienced by men or boys who merely unzip their trousers and aim at the whole [sic] when urinating."

The Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian law firm in Sacramento, which represents the churches and other plaintiffs, is arguing both against the urinal and for people of certain genders and disabilities to be able to use the urinal.

"If San Francisco is going to truly be progressive, it must have public parks that are open to everyone, not just certain groups," Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told the newspaper.

The city has not placed any restrictions on anyone from using the park or the urinal, but Dacus added, "The city is not above the law. They put the urinal in a place where people will see it, whether they like it or not."

"If I had to predict the top 100 things in Dolores Park likely to offend these plaintiffs, I wouldn’t have guessed that this would make the cut," Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera’s office, said in a statement.

The city attorney’s office noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed the Pacific Justice Institute as an anti-LGBT hate group.

Dacus insisted the SPLC's classification was from a "very far-leftist extremist organization" and that the city attorney’s office is "desperately trying to divert attention from the real issues." has reported for years about the anti-LGBT rhetoric and action by Dacus and his organization.

ThinkProgress noted in 2013: "The Pacific Justice Institute’s embrace of blatant anti-LGBT positions is not new. They wholeheartedly promote ex-gay therapy, believing that homosexuality is caused by sexual abuse, and they even filed a lawsuit challenging California’s ban on ex-gay therapy for minors. They lost. They are also working to repeal California’s new law protecting transgender students, eagerly seeking victims like the ones they are trying to invent in this Colorado school."

Sources: Los Angeles Times,, ThinkProgress / Photo credit: Fox News via YouTube

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