WASHINGTON, November 20 (RIA Novosti) – Some residents in San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities in the United States, may be forced to trade in their “birthday suits” for actual clothing as city officials are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to ban nudity in most public places.
“Public nudity is no longer random and sporadic, and it’s no longer an occasional quirky part of San Francisco,” said Scott Weiner, a member the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who proposed the ban.
Weiner represents the Castro District, a well-known gay neighborhood in San Francisco. He introduced the ban after receiving complaints from constituents and local shop owners about the growing number of naked men gathering in the district’s town square on a daily basis, who also walk along the streets without any clothing.
Under the proposal, it would be illegal for anyone over the age of five to “expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza.” But, exemptions would be made for nudists at street fairs and parades, such as the city’s annual gay pride event.
The public nudity ban marks an escalation of a two-year disagreement between Weiner and a group of men known for bearing it all, making it “a caricature of what San Francisco is about,” he said.
Last year Weiner also introduced and helped pass an ordinance that requires individuals to place a cloth between public seating and their exposed body parts and another banning nudity in restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The recent crackdowns have caused a backlash from nudists, causing more of them to gather in the Castro District, some wearing devices that draw attention to their genitalia.
Nudists are also ready to fight to overturn the proposal if passed on Tuesday. San Francisco lawyer Christina DiEdoardo filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of four nudists who are contending the proposed ban is a violation of their civil rights.
If the ban passes, individuals would be fined $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second offense if it occurs within 12 months, and a third time could result in a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
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