Government Law

Six Strip as San Francisco Lawmakers OK New Ban on Public Nudity

At least six audience members stripped down and began shouting after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a ban on public nudity.

Prepared for the protest of the controversial legislation, sheriff’s deputies covered the protesters with blankets and escorted them from the meeting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Although a signature from the city’s mayor, Ed Lee, is still required before the law becomes official, he is expected to give his OK.

The law would provide for escalating fines, beginning at $100, if those who take it all off don’t learn from the first ticket. Nudity would still be allowed on private beaches; at permitted special events, such as certain street fairs and parades; and as far as all children under age 5 are concerned.

A California lawyer last month filed a federal lawsuit over the proposed ban on appearing in public in the buff, arguing that nudity can be a constitutionally protected form of political protest. Across the state line to the north, courts in Oregon have recognized the right of bicyclists, wearing only helmets, to participate in such naked protests.

Additional and related coverage: “Lawmaker Seeks Partial San Francisco Nudity Ban, Calls Bare Minimum Towel-on-Chair Law Insufficient” “Oregon Biker Beats Rap for Naked Ride; ‘Symbolic Protest’ is Protected, Judge Says”

The Castro Biscuit: “Federal Judge to Review the Nudity Ban”

USA Today: “San Francisco sued over proposed nudity ban”

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