San Francisco nudists rally for right to bare it all

Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:18pm EST
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By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Two dozen pro-nudity activists wearing little but their righteous indignation assembled on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday to protest a proposed municipal ban on public nakedness.

"We are here today in response to an attack on our fundamental freedom, our freedom to be ourselves in our own city," disrobed rally organizer Gypsy Taub declared as her fellow activists displayed signs saying, "Nudity is Natural" and "Nude is not Lewd."

Local politicians in the famously tolerant city, where men in particular are known to frequently parade undressed through the streets of the predominantly gay Castro District, are considering a law to criminalize nudity on streets, sidewalks and plazas.

A hearing on measure by the city's Board of Supervisors is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Following the protest, attorney Christina DiEdoardo filed suit on behalf of the nudists seeking to block the proposed nudity ban from enactment.

She contends that a prohibition on public nakedness would deprive her five clients, one of them a former mayoral candidate who ran on a nudist platform, of their constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection under law.

"The city is getting into trying to legislate and criminally enforce a dress code," she told Reuters. "My clients are trying to save the Board of Supervisors from acting unconstitutionally."

"Nudophobic bigotry has now taken root here in San Francisco," Rusty Mills, 69, stripped down to his tanned birthday suit, told his fellow demonstrators as they stood in the sunshine of an unseasonably warm, 70-degree Fahrenheit (21-degree Celsius) fall day.   Continued...

Nudists march to city hall during a rally against banning nudity in parts of the city in San Francisco, California, November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach