Board of Supervisors narrowly passes public nudity ban

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors narrowly passed a measure banning public nudity 6-5 Tuesday afternoon.

The ban will be in effect for parks, plazas and on public transportation. The ban does not prohibit nudity at local fairs and festivals, such as the Folsom Street Fair and San Francisco Pride Festival.

First-time violators will be fined $100, and up to $500 and possible jail time for repeated violations.

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro District and surrounding areas, proposed the ban nearly two years ago.

“Public nudity can go too far,” Wiener said. “It’s very much a ‘hey, look what I have.’”

Supervisor David Campos didn’t agree with Wiener’s proposition to ban public nudity. Campos said he didn’t think this issue was as important as something like violent crime.

“We gave to approach the issue in a way that actually impacts the entire city,” Campos said.

Taylor Whitfield sat in the front row of the meeting and held a sign that said “Nude does not equal lewd. Keep SF free.”

“It’s really upsetting,” Whitfield said. “I feel like it’s taking a step backwards. It’s not in line with the San Francisco values and character. It’s just absurd.”

Others believed it was the right choice toward keeping public nudity out of neighborhoods. Gregory Holt was fine with the outcome, although he wasn’t completely against the other side’s views.

“There are plenty of venues in the city where you can be naked and walk around,” Holt said. “I question my own thought about it, but I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Criminal defense lawyer Christina DiEdoardo said that supervisors who opposed the ban understood that this was a first amendment violation.

“I’m very pleasantly surprised at how things went,” DiEdoardo said. “Although it passed, it passed by a narrow margin. The other supervisors did get the issues and that there is a first amendment violation here.”

The ban requires a final vote from the board and approval from the mayor. If this happens, the ban will go into effect Feb. 1.

Danielle Steffenhagen and Laura Savage contributed to this report.