SF supervisor wants restrictions on public nudity

October 2, 2012 8:35:08 PM PDT
San Francisco is known as a tolerant city, but one city leader says enough is enough, at least when it comes to public nudity. Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced a measure Tuesday that would restrict where people are allowed to be in the buff.

On a nice day like Tuesday, one man enjoys baring it all in Castro District. He's one of the so-called "naked guys" who gather in the parklet at Castro and Market streets.

"This is a neighborhood that has very limited public space and our town square, now almost every day, is a nudist colony, and so it's not OK," Wiener said.

Wiener proposed that public nudity be restricted to what he calls "appropriate venues," including Bay to Breakers, the Folsom Street Fair and the beach.

He says in the past couple of years his district, the Castro, has seen a skyrocketing increase in people who like to display their privates in public. One naked man, would not divulge his name, and put his clothes back on when he saw our cameras, believes there's nothing wrong with showing his assets.

"I think that to be human is to have a human body and to be ashamed of your body is to be ashamed of being human," he said.

It is a controversial topic in the Castro.

"This neighborhood has changed a lot," Castro resident Rodney Parkinson said. "In the last couple decades; there are so many children and families here, and why should anyone ever have to have a conversation with a child, 'Mommy, why is that man naked?' That should never have to happen."

"As long as they are respectable about it and aren't doing sexual things, let them wear whatever; that's what's great about San Francisco, its diversity," Castro resident Dean Whitney said.

Wiener's legislation calls for fines starting at $100 and increasing to $500. The measure has the mayor's support.

"We'll hear some criticisms about it because we are a city that enjoys the freedom to do everything, but there should be a balance," Mayor Ed Lee said.

A lot of people will be surprised to know that there is no state law against public nudity. The law only deals with lewd nude behavior. Nudity itself is left to the local goverments. San Jose and Berkeley already have bans on public nudity.

Last year, supervisors unanimously passed a law requiring people in the nude to put down a towel or covering before they sit down. Wiener was also behind that measure.


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