San Francisco May Ban Public Nudity

| by Michael Allen

San Francisco lawmakers are scheduled to vote on Tuesday on an ordinance that would prohibit nudity in most public places in the city.

City Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the ordinance after residents complained about the naked men who gather in a Castro area plaza and sometimes walk the streets without any clothes, reports the Associated Press.

Wiener's proposed ordinance would make it illegal for a person over the age of 5 to "expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza."

A first violation would mean a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable with a $500 fine and a year in jail.

Exemptions to the nudity ban would be for participants in street fairs and parades, such as the San Francisco Annual Gay Pride Parade and the Folsom Street Fair.

Wiener told the Associated Press: "I don't think having some guys taking their clothes off and hanging out seven days a week at Castro and Market Street is really what San Francisco is about. I think it's a caricature of what San Francisco is about."

The proposed ban predictably has caused outrage. Last week, about two dozen people disrobed in front of City Hall and marched around the block.