Supervisors approve nudity ban on close vote

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The presence of naked guys in the Castro has prompted a citywide ban on nudity.
Mike Koozmin

Over the objections of progressive supervisors and under threats of a lawsuit from nudists and civil liberties advocates, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today voted 6-5 to outlaw public nudity in the city. Supervisors voting against the ban were David Campos, Christina Olague, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim.

Sup. Scott Wiener, who sponsored the measure, cast it as a last resort to deal with what has become daily displays of nudity in the Castro district he represents (and most recently around City Hall as his legislation was being considering in committees), noting that, “Public nudity is part of San Francisco and is appropriate in some circumstances.” His legislation makes exceptions for permitted events such as the Folsom Street Fair and Bay-to-Breakers.

But Wiener said that “public nudity can go too far,” as he says it has over the last two years in the Castro's Jane Warner Plaza, and that “freedom of expression and acceptance does not mean you can do whatever you want.”

Campos echoed some of the legal concerns that critics of the legislation have raised, noting that, “As a lawyer, I do worry about when you ban specific conduct and then you have exceptions to that.” He also questioned whether Wiener has done enough to try to mediate the increasingly divisive conflict he's been having with the nudist community and whether this was an appropriate use of scarce police resources.

“I don't believe we're at the point of saying this becomes a priority over violent crime,” Campos said, noting that he's been unable to get more police foot patrols to deal with a recent spate of violent crimes in the Mission, which shares a police station with the Castro.

Avalos said it was absurd to focus city resources on this victimless issue when the city is wrestling with far more serious problems, such as poverty and violence, and he played a clip from the film Catch 22 where a soldier goes naked to a ceremony to highlight that absurdity. “I will refuse to put on this fig leaf, I just can't do it,” Avalos said.

Mar said he sympathized with Wiener's concerns, but agreed with Campos that Wiener could have done more to mediate this situation before both sides dug in: “I really don't think we need citywide legislation, particularly overbroad legislation, to deal with a problem isolated to one neighborhood.”

Wiener seemed stung by the comments and said he could cite example of each supervisor pushing resolutions or ordinances that dealt with similarly trivial issues, comparing it to refusing to deal with a constituent's pothole complaint until that supervisor fixed Muni and solved the city's housing problem. But Campos pushed back, calling the comparison ridiculous and saying there was no reason for a citywide ban to deal with such an isolated issue.

Nudists at the hearing reacted angrily to the approval and started to disrobe before President David Chiu ordered deputies to intervene and abruptly recessed the hearing. Now, it will likely be up to the courts to decide whether Wiener's concerns about weiners can withstand legal scrutiny.

Comments

Wiener wants a ban, period. No gray area. He (with his big head) thinks he's omnipotent.

Why an 18 month period? Why not a 12 or 16 month period? What's with this arbitrary 18 months?

Most people will have forgotten all about this after 18 months. Hell, most people can't even remember 2 days ago.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

18 months would push this out to the cusp of the next election in D8 where an open conversation could be had instead of the supervisor engineering the desired outcome largely behind closed doors and in service of the merchant's group to the exclusion of anyone who disagrees.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:36 am

Okay. But I still don't see that happening. Who would the "open conversation" be had with? This supervisor, merchants' group and business district organization have shown zero interest in any "open conversation." That's not what they are about.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

Why are people gushing over this idea?

What would this accomplish specifically? Or does it have another unspoken agenda?

Or is this just another ban but using newspeak and calling it an "18 month moratorium," with the hope that the naked guys would stop being nude without a city-wide "ban," but rather with an unofficial ban called an "18 month moratorium?"

Crazy.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

Well, I like it because I prefer more tightly tailored solutions, especially when it comes to taking away rights.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:47 am

That's a bullshit assertion. To suggest that somehow the city can (or even should) establish piecemeal enforcement zones for something so specific is utterly ridiculous. Something like this is inherently and justly an "everywhere or nowhere" proposition.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 10:54 am

then in what sense is that child not a victim of what is now a crime?

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

Except that children don't get "upset and horrified" about nudity. Uptight grownups do. Everyone knows this.

Nudity itself doesn't need to be a "crime." There have been countless cultures throughout the span of human existence that have permitted nudity. Standards of nudity are merely cultural norms and the obvious extreme extension of a nudity ban is the mandatory burka.

I'm not suggesting Weiner will soon be calling for the mandatory burka, but obviously SF is going more mainstream. SF was supposed to be the place that embraced or at least tolerated the misfit folks who were outcasts elsewhere. It's sad to see this city steadily become more like everywhere else than ever before and even more sad to see so many people celebrating it. There's a whole world of sanitized, boring places to live out there why can't we have one frickin' place that's different?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 10:49 am

"There have been countless cultures throughout the span of human existence that have permitted nudity. Standards of nudity are merely cultural norms and the obvious extreme extension of a nudity ban is the mandatory burka (sic)."

That's right asshole, keep pretending that San Francisco is some magical island totally disconnected from American/Western "cultural norms."

Grow up!

Posted by Bullshit on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

But it stuns that me that five Supes would vote to allow these disgusting exhibitions.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

I am proud of David Campos, Christina Olague, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim... And Wiener admits that this is a "trivial" issue. How about poverty , homelessness, hunger, drug dealing, robberies, public defecation and urinating ihn public squares all over downtown?

Posted by PeterTheWolf on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

Campos and Avalos concerned about meaty issues?

Posted by matlock on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

Well I thank the 5 supervisors who displayed sanity on this non-issue. If the court doesn't strike it down and it remains law, how exactly will it be enforced? If it goes the way of sit-lie (which I oppose), it's another meaningless law, because fortunately sit-lie is not enforced. Just another reactionary, divisive law created by the right-wing for their repressive agenda and for their supervisor who's running for mayor and he will add this to his list of "accomplishments" as supervisor.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

It would be enforced like any other ticket. If a person is naked and a cop sees him, they'll get a ticket. Just like if a person was drinking in public. Or someone is urinating on the side of a building. Or someone is parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant.

And there is no reason for the courts to strike this law down. Many other cities (including Berkeley) have had these ordinances for years.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 8:44 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:28 am

We seem to need a definition of "decent exposure" to distinguish merely unclothed people from attention-seeking exhibitionists.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:25 am

We seem to need a definition of "decent exposure" to distinguish merely unclothed people from attention-seeking exhibitionists.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:28 am

Children usually have no problem whatsoever with nudity, IF THEY EVEN NOTICE IT. Remember: They see themselves nude every day! (GASP!)

The person who has the problem with nudity is the so-called "adult" child (their parent). Many people become prudes after they become a parent. They seem to forget that they weren't a prude until they became a parent.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

complained about the Hustler club truck.

Jesus H Christ you people are simpletons.

If the nakid dudes were in Mars district he would be up in arms.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

Part of standing up for civil rights means I don't necessarily get to pick and choose the groups that I feel "deserve" equal rights. But I just can't seem to make myself give a shit about a bunch lame dudes (and one obnoxious hippie chick) that get off on shocking tourists with their exposed genitals. And, let's be honest, all the "it's natural and we shouldn't be ashamed" talking points are total BS. The whole reason the naked guys are doing what they're doing IS to shock people. If nobody cared, they wouldn't get the same thrill from it. I wish we could all just ignore them so they'd go away on their own, but that's not going to ever happen.

So I've come up with my own solution. Rather than acting like I don't see the naked guys when I'm in the Castro, I'm just going to start commenting on how small and extremely unattractive their penises are. No yelling, no name-calling, just a calm, in-depth, and extremely honest critique on their shortcomings. I know some of these guys are sure to be into humiliation, so those few will probably like it (and when I identify them as humiliation-lovers, I'll change tactics), but I'm betting that most of them will not appreciate my raining on their naked parade.

Posted by Snoozers on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

"That looks like a penis, only smaller" works well.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

Oh how juvenile. The childish size-queen remarks. People who are secure with themselves and their sexuality don't make such comments about others in an attempt to make themselves appear "larger" and above others/more important.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

People who are secure with themselves don't inappropriately sexualize nudity in a neighborhood commercial district compulsively on every sunny day, ruining it for the cause of casual nudity that is otherwise gaining public acceptance.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

Learn to love yourself, and you won't need to hate on a handful of people in their birthday suits, hurting no one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QNEaei106U&feature=related

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

parading their obnoxious genitalia in front of children is obviously angry, depressed and resentful.

Ha!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

They are angry, depressed and resentful when they push for a citywide ban to address a very localized problem.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

50 feet beyond whatever boundary is set and that would make enforcement unreasonably difficult.

There are plenty of places in the city where old queens can be naked without upsetting people.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

Nudity is currently legal everywhere but city parks, there are multiple standards. Somehow, I don't see the urban nudists venturing out beyond the Castro after they've been slapped down there.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

"I'm just going to start commenting on how small and extremely unattractive their penises are. No yelling, no name-calling, just a calm, in-depth, and extremely honest critique on their shortcomings."

Yes, I'm sure you'll do that, troll. Trolls always talk "big and tough" online while they hide behind their keyboards. But in case you're that insane and idiotic to do that, it's not a good idea to be a Bully. And that's what you would be doing: Bullying the 2-3 naked guys. Bullying is an increasing problem in our society. There are way too many Bullies out there already and your bullying will accomplish nothing, and it says more about you and the type of person you are than it does anything else.

If you and others don't want to see the naked guys, don't look at them. I see things in my day that I don't necessarily want to see and I look away. It's easy to do that. And unlike the right-wing, I don't scream, "ban it."

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 8:47 pm
Posted by Troll II on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

Bullying? lol, are they little kids or are they grown men? I'm not at all inclined to spare their feelings. They want a reaction and they'll get one. But I don't feel obligated to react in the way they want me to. No, I will simply be exercising my right to free speech. If you and the naked guys don't want to hear it, then don't listen (or read it). People say things everyday that I don't necessarily want to hear and so I don't listen. It's easy to do that. And unlike the lunatic fringe, I don't scream "Fascist".

I'm not certain, but I think your hiding-behind-the-keyboard comment was your way of saying you want to meet me and tell me how you feel face to face. Yes? I can be available for that, but it will just be talking - absolutely no bullying. OK? :) I'm always happy to meet with people in the community. I enjoy listening to people I don't agree with. And I often end up understanding them more when we're face to face rather than online. So, if you want to yell at me or tell me you think I suck, or whatever, let's do it!

Posted by Snoozers on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 11:52 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

The actions, or inactions, of the five Supervisors just goes to show how naive they are and are more concerned with their districts, instead of the city-at-large. I find it insulting for them to question Wiener's involvement and his extent of his outreach to the nudists. It is a sad state of affairs to not have the support of colleagues solely because it doesn't affect them and their districts.

There is absolutely nothing wrong to provide exemptions from the law. One expects and willingly attends street fairs that are notorious for nudity. If it's not your cup of tea, you don't go. But, walking down a public street on a sunny Sunday afternoon? No one should have to be confronted with this nuisance, no matter how good looking or hung the nudists are.

Posted by FrankInSFO on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

The actions, or inactions, of the five Supervisors just goes to show how naive they are and are more concerned with their districts, instead of the city-at-large. I find it insulting for them to question Wiener's involvement and his extent of his outreach to the nudists. It is a sad state of affairs to not have the support of colleagues solely because it doesn't affect them and their districts.

There is absolutely nothing wrong to provide exemptions from the law. One expects and willingly attends street fairs that are notorious for nudity. If it's not your cup of tea, you don't go. But, walking down a public street on a sunny Sunday afternoon? No one should have to be confronted with this nuisance, no matter how good looking or hung the nudists are.

Posted by FrankInSFO on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

But you know that if it was others who are clearly comfortable with their bodies, the talent in the burgeoning local gay male porn industry, were frequenting the Castro naked, that this would be celebrated and exploited for commercial gain, not banned.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

She evidently feels she should have a say in San Francisco politics. Someone really needs to inform the BART progressive crew from the East Bay that their opinion on what happens in San Francisco doesn't matter and that they're doing more harm than good when they interfere in our political process.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

So you've moved away from your, "they (the naked guys) don't live in the neighborhood" lie/disinformation after I informed you that regardless we don't have a ban (yet) that bans someone from going from the Sunset, for example, to the Castro for the day or longer and vice versa.

Now you've moved onto, "that chick doesn't live in San Francisco." Well, again, what does that have to do with anything, Ms Troll II/Lucretia Snapples? If you were against the ban you'd be glad she was there and giving her opinion (like you're addicted to doing on this forum as a bottom-feeder). On the 2-3 forums I've been on, whether the person commenting lives here or not, they have an opinion about it as if they live here.

BTW, as for the 2-3 naked guys not living in the Castro. They certainly do. Over the weekend, I saw 2 of them clothed (unfortunately) hanging out on 18th Street near Castro. One of them was walking around the area today, clothed (unfortunately).

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

Im an AANR member click on my name to visit. France is the home to the largest nudist camp Euronat at 800 acres and more then 30,000 fully nude men, women and children walking around. Hundreds of children practice nudism with no harm. So the "stop there are children" argument really is directed at what parents want, children will survive seeing nudity. The Castro group found a place where they probably shouldn't be because it was decided along time ago to ban nudity where society is more accepting of it at beaches, pools, and parks. Now they will just get more creative on where they will be seen. Banning alcohol, books, drugs, etc has never been effective, banning nudity in a city passionate and progressive enough to be like Europe will not be effective either. Nudists can apply for permits and organize in groups so SF wont lose the nudists.

Posted by Bob on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:46 am

nudist beach nor any other place where there is a reasonable expectation of nudity and where you can easily avoid that if you wish to.

The problem is nude guys in a family and commercial district. They are obviously doing this just to be provocative. And now they won't be naked any more - they'll be wearing orange jump suits at 850 trying to make bail.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 7:32 am

way to criminalize the human body

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

This law's overarching reach would criminalize the human body because a small number of selfish old men can't get through a single sunny day without exposing themselves for a reaction. Well, they got their reaction, more than they bargained for, and the consequences will be borne by other casual, occasional nudists who do not objectify neighborhood residents, merchants and shoppers for their sexualized jollies.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

If you wear at least some clothes in public - a fairly low burden - the law will not affect you.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

A factor not taken into consideration with the above posts, that is the waste of tax payers dollars that will now follow. Case in point, the Mirkarimi saga that had cost the city millions of dollars, our city cannot afford another frivolous lets piss our tax dollars away again defending this ban, as it will surely happen. I can hear the lawyers and advocacy groups sharpening their knives.

Posted by DavidinSF on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:17 am

There is nothing unconstitutional about jurisdictions passing laws against indecent exposure. And there are already many limits on free speech where harm is thereby done to others.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 8:53 am

The Supreme Court has allowed regulation of time, place and manner of speech, broadly construed, but has strayed away from regulating content unless it crosses over the line of presenting a real danger to others.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 9:04 am
Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

None of the progressive supervisors who voted against Wiener's proposed ordinance could win a citywide election. District elections skews city politics artificially to the left, which is why Matt Gonzalez, John Avalos or any other lefty will never be elected mayor of San Francisco.

City progs are on the wrong side on every quality-of-life issue---homelessness, sit-lie, legalizing prostitution, graffiti/tagging, and Critical Mass.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 10:23 am

the recent election where, even as the nation moved to the left, the Supe victories here were surprisingly moderate, most notably with Breed trashing a whole bunch of the "usual suspects" lefties.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

from this castro resident, thank you scott weiner! i have had enough of naked guys in wigs and sunglasses waving their oiled-up genitals at traffic telling me i must be some kind of prude for not respecting them in their natural state! out with avalos and kim and campos. i've jumped the fence and joined all the people upset with them over the mirkarimi incident. get these three supervisors out now!

Posted by bear on the peaks on Nov. 21, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

Happy to keep homeless people on the streets, but not at an occasional cock and ass?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 1:01 am