In a close 6-5 vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this afternoon passed a nudity ban that spurred protesters to strip down at the meeting at City Hall.
The board gave initial approval to the nudity ban, introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener.
The ordinance will amend the city’s police code to prohibit nudity on city streets, plazas, sidewalks and other public spaces.
Nudity would still be permitted at parades, fairs and festivals.
“San Francisco is a place of freedom of expression and acceptance,” Wiener said.
However, he noted his constituents in the Castro District, which is part of his District 8, have reached a breaking point with the abundance of nudists, particularly at Jane Warner Plaza at Castro and Market streets.
“It’s very much a ‘Hey, look what I have’ mentality,” he said at this afternoon’s meeting. “I hoped it would run its course…It’s just more over the top.”
When the board took the issue to vote, supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Christina Olague opposed the ban.
About four protesters seated in the board chambers immediately pulled off their clothing and bared all when the ordinance passed while others booed and yelled out “Down with Scott Wiener!”
Sheriff’s deputies with blankets escorted two naked men and two bare-breasted women out of board chambers after the vote.
The passage of the ordinance will be finalized at the board’s next meeting on Dec. 4.
The ordinance is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1, 2013, or 30 days after Mayor Ed Lee signs the legislation. It will establish fines that start at $100 and rise for additional offenses within a year.
Violators of the ban will not be required to register as sex offenders.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News