San Francisco nudity ban has the city divided
San Francisco supervisors banned most types of public nudity in the city Tuesday after a colorful debate.
Faced with complaints about a group of people dubbed the "Naked Guys" gathering daily in the Castro District, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation last month to ban public nudity citywide, except at permitted festivals and parades.
"This legislation has strong support in the community," Wiener said to kick off the debate 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.
"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.
Outgoing Supervisor Christina Olague called the proposal "a solution in search of a problem." Supervisor Eric Mar said the Naked Guys and the issue of public attire were well below the level of what the board should be considering.
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-- Maria LaGanga