San Fran bans public nudity, sort of (VIDEO)


A man is whipped by a woman at the 20th Annual Folsom Street Fair Sept. 28, 2003 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

San Francisco, America's anything-goes city, banned public nudity on Tuesday, though not without a few caveats. 

The voted ended 6-5 for a ban, but of course the measure exempts some nude beaches, the Pride Parade and the Folsom Street Fair.

By early next year, those caught out of doors without clothes are subject to a $100 fine. If caught three times, the nude violator could face a $500 fine and possibly a year in prison.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the ordinance, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "This legislation is really about genitals. I'm not looking to get anyone arrested because they are showing a plumber's crack or wearing a bikini."

Last year, Wiener banned nudity from restaurants. 

"I don't think having some guys taking their clothes off and hanging out seven days a week at Castro and Market Street is really what San Francisco is about. I think it's a caricature of what San Francisco is about," Wiener told the AP

CNN reports nudists filed a lawsuit against the ban.

Their attorney, Christina DiEdoardo, said: "Is the First Amendment more powerful and more important than the passions of an intolerant mob and the ambitions of one or more city supervisors? We would contend that it is, and that's what our case is based upon." 

Though the measure passed, The San Francisco Chronicle points out a few serious issues need to be discussed: 

"Some questions, however, remain unresolved," the paper wrote. "For example, bare-bottom cowboy chaps are acceptable — but what happens when the bare buttocks bend over?"

CNN reports: