SF Supervisors give final approval to nudity ban

December 4, 2012 7:44:35 PM PST
Starting next year, nudists in San Francisco will have to keep their clothes on when they are out in public. The Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the measure in its second and final vote Tuesday afternoon.

There was no discussion from the supervisors when they passed San Francisco's public nudity ordinance into law. The noise came from opponents in the chambers. Deputies tried to move quickly to cover the protesters; there's already a rule requiring clothes at City Hall. When they took theirs off, three men and four women were tossed out of the meeting.

The law will take effect in February unless a federal judge sides with nudists who say the ban violates their civil rights. The hearing is scheduled for next month.

There will still be permitted events, like parades and festivals, for those who want to bare all, but that doesn't satisfy the protesters.

"It teaches children to be ashamed of their bodies; it teaches adults to be ashamed of their bodies," a nudist going by the name "Stardust" said.

But even in tolerant San Francisco, Supervisor Scott Wiener says his constituents were tired of seeing a group of naked men every day. So he sponsored the city-wide ordinance.

"I stand by this legislation and I'm happy to see it passed and to move on to other things," Wiener said.

But that's not likely to happen right away. There is now a criminal charge against local blogger Michael Petrelis. He posted a picture of Wiener in a second floor bathroom brushing his teeth. What he had tried to take was a picture of the supervisor's genitals.

District Attorney George Gascon says it was an invasion of privacy.

"This is very, very inappropriate and we want to make sure we send a message that this behavior is not accepted and completely trespasses any social boundary if decency and good sense," Gascon said.

Petrelis did not comment Tuesday. His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

The nude protesters are also complaining about the city's government television not showing their protest two weeks ago. They are accusing Board of Supervisors President David Chiu of censorship for calling a recess just as their protest began, leading to the cameras being shut off. Gascon says the protest first need to contact the city's Ethics Commission.


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