Public Nudity Ban Passes, No More Naked People Allowed in San Francisco
|Just a normal day at City Hall|
Upon hearing the final vote, nudists did what they do best and got naked while shouting at the board; several of them were escorted from the chamber by sheriff's deputies, who shrouded them under blue blankets as the board took a short recess.
The board's progressive pols -- including David Campos, Eric Mar, Christina Olague, and John Avalos -- voted against the ban. Campos, who represents the Mission District, worried that enforcing such a ban would burden police who have bigger problems to worry about in the Mission. "We live in a time of limited resources," he said. "The focus should be violent crime." Avalos took the most creative approach in voicing his objection, playing a clip about nudity from Catch-22 and closing his remarks with the statement, "I refuse to wear this fig leaf."
|City Hall mascot?|
"Public nudity can go too far," Wiener said at the meeting. "For years, it wasn't a big deal and no one cared." But now, he said "It's no longer occasional or sporadic; it's every day in the Castro."
He also pointed out that he's been fair and narrowed the legislation in response to critics. For starters, anyone busted naked in public will be facing an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. He also chided his colleagues who said the ban was a violation of free speech.
"Free expression in the abstract is nice, until naked people start hanging out in the Richmond," Wiener said.
The ban will go into effect within 30 days of its signing or by Feb. 1, 2013, whichever comes first. However, the fight to bare it all isn't over just yet. Earlier this week, nudists filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court, claiming San Francisco city supervisors are limiting their free speech.