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SF Nudity Ban: San Francisco Nudists Call for Rally Against Proposed Nudity Regulations

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 05, 2012 05:44 PM EDT

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San Francisco wants to put an end to public nudity, sort of. SF Supervisor Scott Wiener is calling for a ban on nudity in very public places in the California city. Now nudists are fighting back.

San Francisco is tolerant of nudity, but some think it has gotten a bit out of control. Wiener introduced a bill that would put stricter limits on public nudity and establish consequences for those that might break the potential law.

At a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Wiener introduced the bill that prohibits people from displaying their genitals or backsides in places like city plazas, parks, sidewalks, streets and on public transportation, according to the Huffington Post.

However, that doesn't mean nudity will be outlawed completely. San Francisco is known for wild parades and festivals in which revelers like to get down to their birthday suit. That will still be allowed. Nudists will also still be able to head to nude beaches and get naked on private properties.

Wiener's decided to create this bill is a response to the growing problem of daily nudity at a plaza in the Castro District.  Several residents and business owners have complained about the people who lounge naked on the plaza.

"While most people in San Francisco, myself included, have no problem with occasional public nudity, we've seen a shift in public attitude because of the over-the-top situation at Jane Warner Plaza and elsewhere in the Castro," said Wiener in a statement, as quoted by the Huffington Post. "Until recently, public nudity in our city was mostly limited to various street festivals and beaches as well as the occasional naked person wandering the streets. What's happening now is different. Jane Warner Plaza is the only usable public space in the Castro and serves as the neighborhood's town square. Use of this small but important space as a near-daily nudist colony, while fun for the nudists, is anything but for the neighborhood as a whole."

"This plaza and this neighborhood are for everyone, and the current situation alienates both residents and visitors," he continued. "We are a tolerant neighborhood and city, but there are limits."

As of right now, public nudity is legal in San Francisco. Lewd acts while naked are prohibited. Certain municipalities such as Berkeley and Marin County have their own nudity laws.

Frequent nudists are not too happy with the proposed ban.

"This is, in my opinion, an attack on freedom," George Davis, a 66-year-old Castro nudist, told the Wall Street Journal. "I meet people from all over the world," he said, including South Korea, France and Liechtenstein.

Some have formed a Facebook event, calling for a rally against the proposed ban on October 20. The event calls for people to join together and get naked at the Jane Warner Memorial Plaza.

 A note in the event says:  "A) People are and should be entitled to live their lives the way they want. B) San Francisco has always been the city where you can let your freak flag fly without any judgment. C) Nudity is not something that should be covered up and the human body is not something that we should take shame in (regardless of who is exposed).

About a thousand people have been invited to the rally.

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