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San Francisco looks at public nudity

Oct. 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM   |   Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Legislation in San Francisco was proposed to compel people to wear clothes while in public, a reaction to complaints about nudity, a political leader said.

Supervisor Scott Wiener's proposal Tuesday would ban the exposure of genitals and buttocks on all city sidewalks, plazas, parks and public transit, but would not affect nudity at street fairs, distance running events, public beaches, private property or the city's Gay Pride Parade, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Being naked in public is legal in San Francisco, except in parks, restaurants and on port property although a regular meeting of about a dozen "naked guys" in a public square in the city's Castro district has caused controversy, the newspaper said.

Wiener said public nudity is a top complaint among his Castro district constituents, and said gay residents object the most.

"Some people say this is not what we fought for. Being able to expose your genitals at Castro and Market [streets] is not the goal of the LGBT civil rights movement."

Police in the nearby Mission District said they have received an increasing number of complaints about nudity, but cannot make arrests unless associated lewd behavior is involved.

The proposed legislation, which includes escalating fines for repeated acts, has the support of the city's mayor.

"I can understand people like sunbathing, but let's have a level of balance here. On behalf of kids who shouldn't really have to view this, and on behalf of parents that walk their kids to school, we're going to create those balanced constrictions," said Mayor Ed Lee.

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