Police cite nudists for stripping in San Francisco protest

Fri Feb 1, 2013 7:54pm EST
 
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By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four nudists protesting in the buff outside San Francisco's City Hall were handcuffed and hauled off by police on Friday after they ignored instructions to cover up as a public nudity ban took effect in the famously tolerant city.

San Francisco city leaders approved a ban on baring it all in streets, public plazas and the transit system in December to curtail public nudity, which some residents and business owners complained had gotten out of control.

The efforts to clamp down have caused a flap in the city, where men in particular are known to parade naked through the streets of the predominantly gay Castro District, but the nudists this week lost a court challenge to block the law.

A handful of protesters, some of them clothed, turned up to protest the law as it went into effect on Friday on a warm Northern California winter day, including Gypsy Taub, 43, who stripped down to yellow, patent-leather boots.

"War is Obscene, Not My Body," she wrote in purple marker on her bare chest and stomach.

Nudist activist George Davis, 66, used the occasion to announce that he would run next year against City Supervisor Scott Wiener, who wrote the controversial ordinance forbidding people from getting naked below the waist in public.

"I can guarantee you nudists are a tourist draw and are good for business," Davis said during his first stump speech for Wiener's seat, wearing nothing but sandals and a fanny pack.

Some of Wiener's Castro District constituents complained that nudists, particularly Davis and a group of men known as the Naked Guys, were hurting business and causing a public nuisance in his predominately gay neighborhood.   Continued...