Take a walk through San Francisco during the city’s annual Bay to Breakers city-wide run and you will likely experience some less-than-decent exposure. All that could change as the 11-member city council seeks to vote Tuesday on banning public nudity in most parts of the city.
The measure was introduced by council member Scott Wiener, who represents the predominantly gay Castro district. He felt compelled after escalating complaints of a group of men who consistently bare it all around the city.
“Some people have tried to paint this issue as some sort of a gay rights issue, and it really isn’t,” Wiener, who is gay, said. “It has nothing to do with gay rights. This is about behavior in our neighborhoods and trying to be respectful of one another.”
Preemptive lawsuits were filed last week claiming that, if it passes, the city ordinance is a violation of free speech. Last week, demonstrators staged a nude protest outside of City Hall.
“Freedom is not something man gives anyone,” Ckiara Rose said to The Associated Press. “It’s something we all — men, women, children — are born with and then people come in and try to erase it from you and if you won’t let that go they want to silence you, they want to banish you and they want to burn you at the stake.”
The ordinance would place a $100 fine on first-time offenders, “but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail,” the AP reports.
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