San Fran supervisor wants to ban most public nudity

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San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. - PHOTO: www.sfbos.org

A San Francisco supervisor, fed up with the almost-daily displays of nudity in the heavily gay Castro district, introduced legislation this week that would make it illegal to walk around naked on San Francisco streets – most of the time.

The city allows nudity except in parks, on port property and in restaurants, but under the ordinance by Supervisor Scott Wiener, nudity at city plazas, parks, sidewalks, streets and public transit would be banned.

The legislation would, however, allow nudity at parades and street festivals.

The legislation was spurred by an increase in nudity in the Castro, where nudists gather almost every day at a plaza, Wiener said.

On his Facebook page, Wiener wrote, "…I introduced legislation to limit public nudity in public spaces, allowing it at street fairs, parades, beaches, and private property, but not on streets or plazas. I delayed introducing this for quite some time – hoping that the situation in the Castro would run its course and that the legislation wouldn't be necessary – but it did not run its course and instead has gotten more extreme. I know folks have a lot of different views about this – which I respect – but I believe this is the best course for keeping a sense of balance and mutual respect in our diverse neighborhoods. Public spaces are for everyone, and when a public space becomes dominated by one group, that's not ok."

Wiener proposed a law last year that would have required nudists to put a cloth or other barrier under their bottoms if they take a seat in public, but he hoped that the situation in the Castro would resolve itself before he proposed a ban on nudity.

After introducing the anti-nudity legislation, Wiener said it would sit for 30 days before being heard. The proposed ordinance would then go to a committee hearing in early November before going to the full Board of Supervisors later in the month, Wiener said.

Wiener also has complained of transients in Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro. His legislation to ban camping in the plaza and have the city to regularly steam clean the area was successful.