SF supervisor proposes ban on naked seating

September 6, 2011 10:23:47 PM PDT
The city of San Francisco is cracking down on public nudity. The issue is less about modesty and more about cleanliness.

This may come as a surprise to you, but it is not illegal to walk around without clothes in San Francisco. Sitting down, however, may be another issue.

Welcome to the naked city. In San Francisco's Castro District, that's not just a saying, it's a lifestyle.

"I am kind of a weather opportunist," said George Davis, who you could also call a fair weather nudist. You'll find Davis or some of his friends on just about any warm day near the corner of Market and Castro, soaking up the sun, the shade, the stares, and the criticism from people like Andrea Aiello, who runs a local merchants association.

"You sure you want to sit down on these chairs?" asked Aiello. "Naked people sit here with their bare butts."

So with the purpose of sanitizing nudity, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation Tuesday that would require nudists to cover public seating before sitting down and to cover themselves before entering restaurants.

"This legislation is not about whether to ban or not ban public nudity," said Wiener. "It's a basic public health measure."

As we stood along the corner of Castro and Market Tuesday, several men strolled past on full display. One gentleman had no comment, another worried about over exposure in the media, and only Davis bared his body and soul while sitting on his pants, as any good nudist should do, he said.

"I see it both ways," said Davis. "It's codifying what's already nudist etiquette."

Wiener's proposed legislation must still undergo full scrutiny in a committee and then public hearings. Since no food will be served, we presume clothing will remain optional.

Even in San Francisco, tolerance has its limits.


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