Public Nudity Ban, With Exceptions, Headed to San Francisco?

San Francisco may be thought of as rather liberal and relaxed when it comes to the law, but a new proposal may change at least one element of the city's tradition of public nudity. City officials say it's becoming a bit of a problem and have proposed a ban on public nudity, with some exceptions, of course.

"In its traditional form in San Francisco, public nudity was fine. It was fine to have a random [naked] person walking through the neighborhood once in a while. It was fine at public festivals and parades," Scott Wiener, who introduced the ordinances, told The Los Angeles Times.

"But what's happening now is … a caricature," he explained, as more people begin to practice nudity throughout the city and began making citizens uncomfortable. The ban seeks to help curb nudity for pure exhibitionism and instead allow those few who feel comfortable in the nude a little bit of freedom.

As it stands, the new laws would allow toddlers to go without their diapers and adults could participate in the Bay to Breakers run as well as other events during Pride Week. However, everyday nudists could be prohibited from certain businesses and being nude in public if the laws both pass.

"Ninety percent of the business owners were furious," Rob Cox, board secretary of the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association, reported. "I had heard it from a lot of neighbors too, so we passed that information on."

"Jane Warner Plaza is the only usable public plaza in the Castro. It is our town square, and it is has become dominated just about every afternoon by one group [Naked Men]… The Castro is not about a group of men exposing themselves every day," Cox added.

If the law passes, a first-time offender could be charged a $100 fine, and a third violation could lead to a $500 fine and one year in jail. Of course, there are the exceptions to be made during Pride Week and the Folsom Street Fair.