Today marks what many in the Castro hopes is the final chapter of nudist letting it all hang out at Jane Werner Plaza. The Board of Supervisors had it’s second, perfunctory meeting regarding Sup. Scott Wiener’s proposed measure halting public nudity, and approved it. The decision, which was booed and heckled by members of the public in favor of nudity, now goes to Mayor Ed Lee for his signature. He has indicated that he will happily sign it.
The minute the gravel struck at least six people stripped down and began yelling insults at the board. Sheriff’s deputies quickly covered the naked men and women with blankets and hustled them out of the chamber, but not before one man warned that the vote would send the wrong message to children about their bodies and encourage anorexia, bulimia and sexual intimacy issues.
The law stipulates some leeway in nudity. Exemptions include nudity at private beaches, private property and permitted special events such as Bay to Breakers or the Folsom Street Fair and doesn’t apply to children under 5 years old. The ban once signed is expected to go into effect by February 2013.
Those who want to violate the law could expect to be fined $100 for the first offense and $200 for the second in a 12-month period. Convictions under the proposed law wouldn’t result in a sex offense, but a third offense could bring a $500 fine or a misdemeanor. Nudist have already put together a class action suit saying the law will violate their first amendment right to freedom of expression. As we reported a federal judge will review the merits of that suit.