San Francisco are fighting for their right to be naked.A city supervisor for the notoriously nude-friendly Castro District recently proposed a ban on nudity, but a group of residents led by Mitch Hightower and others are suing to stop the ban in its tracks before the city supervisors even vote on it, Courthouse News Service reported Thursday.
Supervisor Scott Weiner already successfully pushed for a law that requires nudists to have some sort of buffer between their naked bodies and public seating.
He’s now going even further with his new proposal that would require clothes on public transportation, sidewalks, city streets, and plazas.
But, according to challengers, this proposed ban is about more than clothes. It’s about free speech.
Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, who is challenging the proposal along with Hightower, said she uses her naked body “as an integral part of her political speech,” according to CNS.
And the nudists’ lawyer Christina DiEdoardo told The Associated Press the proposal is too broad and is detrimental to free speech.
The challengers filed their federal class-action lawsuit on Wednesday, and in true nudist fashion, assembled on the steps of San Francisco City Hall wearing nothing more than their birthday suits, according to Reuters.
“We are here today in response to an attack on our fundamental freedom, our freedom to be ourselves in our own city,” disrobed rally organiser Gypsy Taub declared as her fellow activists displayed signs saying, “Nudity is Natural” and “Nude is not Lewd.”
“Between the ‘Nude-In,’ the Global Naked Bike Ride, the San Francisco Pride Festival, the Trans March, the Dyke March, Dore Alley and the Folsom Street Fair, approximately several hundred people are nude at various times in public spaces in San Francisco during a typical year,” the nudists say in their complaint, according to CNS.
If Weiner gets his way, nudists could be fined $100 for their first offence, $200 for a second offence within a year and charged with a misdemeanour or fined $500 for a third offence.
City supervisors are scheduled to vote on the ban at their Nov. 20 meeting.
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