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A few years ago Bay Curious listener Kelly Hardesty was walking in the Castro with her daughter when they saw a naked man, who wore nothing but white tennis shoes. The state of California has indecent exposure laws, making it illegal if someone is naked with the intent of being sexual like masturbating in publicor intentionally offensive like flashing someone.
But then the '60s arrived, and many saw nudity as a form of political, artistic or personal expression. College students streaked across the nation. In San Francisco, hippie culture was thriving, and Golden Gate Park became a favorite spot for nudists looking to get closer to nature. According to police patrolling the area, there was also a decent amount of public sex.
Cahill, who was chief of police at the time.
Of course, sex is sexualand thus already illegal according to California law. But conservative San Franciscans wanted tougher laws to prevent this kind of behavior, and they eventually got public nudity banned in the parks. Berkeley is interesting because its ban is mostly due to one naked guy -- Andrew Martinez was a student at UC Berkeley. He believed that society was sexually repressed and, to address this, he decided to undress. He went to classes, parties and did errands wearing nothing but a pair of sandals and a backpack.
When he showed up naked to his disciplinary hearing, he was expelled. Martinez stayed in Berkeley, continuing to walk around nude. But then inthe City Council decided to discuss whether public nudity should be allowed. When Martinez showed up naked to speak against it, he was flanked by nude friends.
The council was sufficiently offended and voted to make public nudity a misdemeanor crime.
Back in San Francisco, nudists were enjoying their time in the sun. The city developed a reputation for bodies in the buff. Especially at certain public events like the Folsom Street Fair, a leather fetish festival, and the Bay To Breakers, a rambunctious 12K race. Rich Pasco, coordinator of the Bay Area Naturists, a nudist group, has been running in the race since There were nudity-approved beaches, and certain neighborhoods where nudists would congregate. Wiener started off by trying to ban nudity in restaurants and requiring naked people to put a buffer between themselves and public seating -- like sitting on a newspaper when riding the bus.
He felt the men in Jane Warner Plaza were still taking it too far by wearing genital jewelry deed to maintain erections. To prevent this, Wiener wrote up a bill banning public nudity on streets, plazas, sidewalks and on public transit, though there was a blanket exemption for street fairs and festivals, and no impact on nude beaches. While some people supported the ban, others felt it was unnecessary.
Castro has always been an adult neighborhood. We have smoke shops, porn stores, probably 15 gay bars alone Longtime residents felt the proposed nudity ban was due to demographic shifts and catered to the new wealthier residents, some who had children and wanted a more family-friendly atmosphere. There were a of public meetings about the ban, where nudists made their thoughts known, sometimes by taking their clothes off in opposition. I would say to the contrary.
Despite nudist activists like Taub, the anti-nudity bill, also called the Wiener bill, was passed in November by a vote. It became illegal to show your genitals, perineum or anal region in public. There were some loopholes. To appease people concerned about events like the Bay to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair, the bill says that the ban does not apply to permitted events like parades, fairs and festivals.
Taub says she ran into trouble when she applied to get permits for nude-specific events after the ban took place. Taub and other nudists lawyered up, and filed a complaint against the San Francisco Police Department for infringing on their First Amendment rights. The nudists also held nude protests against the ban, and Taub even got married nude on the steps of City Hall, after which she was arrested.
She says she was arrested about seven or eight times in the first year of the ban. The district attorney never imprisoned Taub for her nude protests.
Ina federal judge ordered the city to give a permit to the nudists for a parade. Today, you need a permit to get fully naked in San Francisco. Search-Icon Created with Sketch. KQED is a proud member of. Always free.
In. KQED Inform. Save Article Save Article. Bay Curious. Listen 11 min. Jessica Placzek. Aug 5, Failed to save article Please try again. Nude activist Trey Allen stands nude in front of San Francisco police officers as he protests San Francisco's ban on nudity. This story was first published on Aug.
Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro became a popular spot for nudists. Nudists in San Francisco, California. Gypsy Taub, who disrobed inside City Hall during a meeting, is escorted away on Nov. Life After the Ban Despite nudist activists like Taub, the anti-nudity bill, also called the Wiener bill, was passed in November by a vote.
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