San Francisco Board Approves Public-Nudity Ban, Protesters Strip Down

We’re heading into Thanksgiving but folks in the City by the Bay will be seeing significantly less wattle: the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favor of ban on public nudity.

The measure, which still needs to pass a final vote before the assembly and get Mayor Edwin Lee’s signature, was introduced by openly gay Supervisor Scott Wiener, who said his constituents were complaining about men exposing erect penises and other body parts in the Castro.

“We’re a city that believes in freedom, and we’ve always believed in freedom and free expression,” Wiener said Tuesday. “But taking your pants off at Castro and Market and displaying your genitals to everyone? That’s not free expression.”

Opponents have filed a lawsuit claiming the ban is unconstitutional—and also claim it will take resources and time away from police. After Tuesday’s vote, demonstrators in the council chambers stripped down in protest.

If the ban passes, a first offense would carry a $100 fine, but those nabbed for repeat offenses could face $500 fines and a year in jail. Exemptions would be allowed for popular public celebrations like the Bay to Breakers Run, SF Pride and the Folsom Street Fair.