San Francisco's ban on nudity sparks debate, protests
The decision by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to ban nudity met with much debate and some protests.
Times San Francisco Bureau Chief Maria LaGanga captured the scene in her report:
What started out as a discussion about whether people could stroll naked through this liberal city's storied streets ended up Tuesday afternoon as a discussion about the role of local government.
Faced with complaints about a band of so-called Naked Guys gathering daily in the Castro District, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation last month to ban public nudity citywide, except for at permitted festivals and parades.
"This legislation has strong support in the community," Wiener said to kick off the discussion before Tuesday's vote. "I'm talking about support from everyday citizens who live and work in this wonderful neighborhood."
The stricture wasn't the brainchild of business owners, as some naturists have claimed, nor did straight couples with children raise a fuss about freedom of expression -- and freedom from clothing -- in the heart of gay San Francisco.
Nope, "the dominant demographic expressing concern is gay men," Wiener told his colleagues, as he implored them to expand on an earlier ordinance requiring clothing in restaurants and a barrier between naked bodies and public seating.
The vote was marked by protests. Share your views below.
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Photo: Authorities deal with a protester at Board of Supervisors meeting. Credit: Associated Press