Nudists to sue over Wiener law

Photo by Mike Koozmin/SF Newspaper Co.

Sup. Scott Wiener's ban on public nudity hasn't even come to a vote at the full board, but the nudists who oppose it are already planning to sue. A group of five plaintiffs, including former mayoral candidate George Davis and Gypsy Taub, who disrobed at a hearing on the issue, are arguing that the city lacks the legal authority to enact the ban, which they call a violation of protected free speech.

Christina DeEduoardo, the group's attorney, told me she plans to file this week in federal court in San Francisco. "We're going to ask for a temporary restraining order to prevent the supervisors from enacting this law," she explained.

It's not easy to get a court to pre-emptively block a law that hasn't been approved, but DeEduoardo said she's going to argue that state law pre-empts San Francisco from taking this type of action. "When a municipality does something at odds with state law, there's a reason to prevent it," she said.

California law already regulates lewd behavior, and the state courts have consistently held that mere nudity is not a violation of that statute. "Nothing says the city has to power to regulate dress," she argued. "It's the equivalent of the Board of Supervisors saying that in October the only colors you can wear are black and orange."

Even if the state doesn't pre-empt San Francisco's right to ban nudity, DeEduoardo said, there's a First Amendment issue here: "This purports to ban all nude expression. My clients engage in nudity as speech. The law is way over-broad." There's even an equal-protection argument: Wiener's legislation specifically exempts major city events, like Bay to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair -- but those things cost a lot of money. "So the city's saying if you have the money for a permit, you can engage in nudity, but if you can't afford that, and you just want to go au naturel, then you are a criminal."

Matt Dorsey, spokesperson for the City Attorney's Office, told me he doesn't expect any sort of injunction. "State law is very clear that injunctions can't be granted to prevent a legislative act," he said.

If a federal judge won't issue a restraining order, the nudists are going to sue to overturn the law the minute it passes. So there's likely to be a long, expensive legal battle -- and it seems so silly. Particularly since it's getting chilly out and the rainy season is about to start, and Mother Nature will be dealing with the naked guys pretty quickly.


,,,either want to fight,,or fuck,,,and I'm not gay,,,,sooooo.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2012 @ 10:56 am

Im an AANR member and monitor this group. In a nudist club setting some of their antics would be offensive and cause them to be ejected. If this group had peacefully used the parks and beaches, rented municipal pools for anyone interested in nude swims, encouraged mixed gender and generational social events all of us might not lose the privilege that San Francisco offers. The conditions of the ban are obviously targeted at this group. Bare to breakers streakers, Folsom lewdness (displaying erections, masturbating, oral and anal sex at a nudist club will get you banned from the club) in the streets is ok with the city because other people then this group are involved. But relaxing peacefully nude on the beach, sunning yourself peacefully in the park, organizing family (adults and children) swims reserved for nude only use at municipal pools will be banned.

The ban is not necessary. There are loitering laws and public nuisance, lewdness laws that can address the conduct and not the nudity that the city is against but is using the nudity as the excuse to control the conduct.

Posted by Bob on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 9:41 am

This exhibitionist minority is trying to bully the majority into accepting behavior that's unacceptable, much like the bike bullies have done successfully with Critical Mass.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 10:25 am

As usual, you have it ass-backwards.

The U.S. Constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

As for Bullies, check your mirror.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

Trusty, rusty ol' Rob Anderson, always willing to blame bicycles for the downfall of humanity.

You know what's truly obscene? All those cars with their exhaust pipes sticking out. Some of them get all vajazzled with chrome glass-pack mufflers and other lewd exhibitionist accoutrements. Nobody wants to see (or breathe) that.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

Put your effin clothes on, the butt and penis juices all over the seats and benches are disgusting enough without your gross discharges!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Pro-Nude guys agenda
Pro-Domestic Violence agenda
Anti-Obama agenda

Progressives have lost their minds!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 10:29 am

What a waste of money, time and whatever I can throw. Put your close back, go home if you want to get nude or if you want to hang out with other nude guys find a place that is private.

Posted by Garrett on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 11:01 am

Ever seen a pool ball with a mosquito bite on it? Just check out the parklet at castro and market.

Posted by Dedicated_local on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

Don't try to work as a comic. You'll flop.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

And that'll be all that's flopping, especially at 17th and Castro and thanks to them, citywide.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 30, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

our neighborhood is changing, inaddition some things need to stay private as in nudity.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 30, 2012 @ 2:58 pm