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‘Nude-in’ greets San Francisco public nudity ban

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:45 EDT
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The clothes came off in response to the passage of a public nudity ban in San Francisco on Tuesday — and the legal gloves might soon follow.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city’s Board of Supervisors passed the ban by a 6-5 margin, meaning that with exceptions like selected local events like Bay to Breakers, private property and nude beaches, removing one’s clothes on city streets is now punishable by fines and up to misdemeanor criminal charges.

The ban’s approval was met with a “nude-in,” as five people doffed their clothes in immediate protest before being taken from the meeting.

“I’m going to be happy when this is over,” said the bill’s proponent, Supervisor Scott Wiener, who said it was prompted by a broad-based group of residents in his district. “It’s important, it’s a real issue, but it’s never been the issue I’ve wanted to work on.”

Before voting against it, fellow Supervisor David Campos pointed out that Wiener’s plan came at a time of limited resources.

“Not that enforcing nudity laws is not important,” Campos said. “But on the scale of how important it is relative to violent crime, I think the focus should be violent crime.”

The board is scheduled to vote again on the issue on Dec. 4, a procedure that, according to KGO-TV, is usually a formality. Should the ban pass again, it heads to Mayor Ed Lee for him to sign into law before taking effect Feb. 1. But opponents of the ban have already filed a lawsuit saying it hinders their right to free speech.

“Is the First Amendment more powerful and more important than the passions of an intolerant mob and the ambitions of one or more city supervisors?” said Christina Diedoardo, an attorney representing local nudists fighting the measure. “We would contend that it is and that is what our case is based upon.”

Watch KGO’s report on the approval of the “Wiener Bill,” aired on Tuesday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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