You may remember that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban nudity in the city back in November. Today, after a lawsuit was filed against the law, a U.S. district judge upheld the law:
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen says that the ban should stand, and that nudity in itself is “not inherently expressive.”
He says that challenges to the law could still be valid should police try to punish people using nudity in the context of political protest, but that old naked dudes sunbathing in the plaza at 17th and Castro is not, in fact, “speech” in and of itself.
As SFGate’s City Insider blog reports, Chen rejected the claims by the nudists’ lawyer, Christina DiEdoardo, that the nudity ban was discriminatory because it didn’t apply to children under 5 or to events like Bay to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair. Chen basically dismissed the thing about the kids, and said that the public had “come to expect public nudity” at events like Folsom Street Fair, and are therefore not “unwillingly or unexpectedly exposed” to bare asses and balls, as they have been in the Castro of late.
While I have mixed feelings about the ban (I, myself, do not parade around the streets naked but don’t care if others do), a few pushed the envelope by putting nudity in everyone’s faces (including kids) in the Castro so it is sad that the actions of a few ended the freedom for many.