Activists have been protesting the new law in San Francisco that bans public nudity.
The law, passed in November of 2012, states that it is illegal to be nude in, “public streets, sidewalks, street medians, park lets, and plazas, and on public transit vehicles, stations, platforms and stops.”
Encouraged by San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, the law passed with a 6-5 vote, enacting police code section 154 prohibiting public nudity (excluding breasts and chaps) in San Francisco.
Children under five years old are also exempted from the law, as are others during designated festivals and events, like the Folsom Street Fair or Gay Pride Parade.
“I hadn’t initially planned on pursuing this ban, and I’d hoped this issue would resolve itself,” said Supervisor Wiener in a statement to 429Magazine. “However, sentiment in the community, from gay and straight residents, small business owners, and others, turned against this obnoxious behavior. What was once an occasional sighting turned into a near-daily nudist colony at Jane Warner Plaza, which is essentially the Castro’s town square.”
“The goal of this legislation was not to punish people,” continues Wiener, “but to get them to put their clothes back on while in our neighborhoods so that everyone can enjoy our public space.”
The first offense results in a fine of $100, second could be $500, and a third incident could land the offender in prison.
In the state of California, it is legal to be nude in public as long as there is no lewd conduct. However, other neighboring cities, such as Berkeley and San Jose, have made similar bans within city limits.