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Time to come clean on public nudity, San Francisco official says

September 6, 2011 | 11:54 am

2006 Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco

No longer content to turn the other cheek about what he calls an “increase in public nudity” in the Castro neighborhood he represents, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said that he plans to introduce a measure Tuesday to make such behavior more “sanitary.”

Wiener’s proposal would not outlaw the practice of "dropping trou" on the streets of San Francisco, but would rather require so-called naturists to be a little more respectful of others’ hygiene concerns.

If the measure is passed, naked people who are out and about would be required to place something between their posteriors and public seating before alighting. And they would also be required to wear clothing in restaurants.

As it stands, says Wiener aide Gillian Gillett, “lewd behavior is illegal but not nudity per se” in San Francisco.

She points to article 15.3, Section 1071.1 of the city Police Code, which prohibits only waiters, waitresses or entertainers in places that serve food and drink from exposing their nether regions or wearing a costume that “gives the appearance of or simulates" the genitals or buttocks, among other things.

This is, of course, a city where public floggings are part of the annual Folsom Street Fair, naked joggers bounce through the streets during the Bay to Breakers race and at least one supervisorial hopeful campaigned in the buff.

"San Francisco is a liberal and tolerant city, and we pride ourselves on that fact," Wiener said in a written statement.  "Yet, while we have a variety of views about public nudity, we can all agree that when you sit down naked, you should cover the seat, and that you should cover up when you go into a food establishment."


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-- Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco

Photo: Chris Ahlgren rides a woolly mammoth in the 2006 Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. Those who run the race are not necessarily sober -- or clothed -- at the finish line. Credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / San Francisco Chronicle