Always Our San Francisco
City lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that would prohibit nudity in most public places, a blanket ban that represents an escalation of a two-year tiff between a devoted group of men who strut their stuff through the city’s famously gay Castro District and the supervisor who represents the area.
Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal would make it illegal for a person over the age of 5 to “expose his or her genitals, perineum or anal region on any public street, sidewalk, street median, parklet or plaza” or while using public transit.
The supervisor said he hated to do this, but constituents complained about a group of men who parade around a public place in the Castro district butt naked. More:
A first offense would carry a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. Exemptions would be made for participants at permitted street fairs and parades, such as the city’s annual gay pride event and the Folsom Street Fair, which celebrates sadomasochism and other sexual subcultures.
Well, that seems like a fair compromise to me. The city proposes to allow exhibitionist perverts to show their penises, pudenda, and anuses at community festivals. So they’ll still have a special time to showcase their naughty bits for public consumption. But that’s not enough for the more ardent San Franciscans:
The proposed ban predictably has produced outrage, as well as a lawsuit. Last week, about two dozen people disrobed in front of City Hall and marched around the block to the amusement of gawking tourists and high school students on a field trip.
Stripped down to his sunglasses and hiking boots, McCray Winpsett, 37, said he understands the disgust of residents who would prefer not to see the body modifications and sex enhancement devices sported by some of the Castro nudists. But he thinks Wiener’s prohibition goes too far in undermining a tradition “that keeps San Francisco weird.”
If you can’t dangle your ding-a-ling in broad daylight on the streets of San Francisco, then plainly Zombie Jerry Falwell will have won? Really?
Maybe it’s San Francisco’s role in life to be an example to the rest of us of what could happen if we lost our freaking minds.