SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, February 1, at 12 noon, political nudist activist and writer George Davis will announce his candidacy for the job of Supervisor of District 8, The Castro, seeking to replace the current supervisor, Scott Wiener, the author of the recently-passed citywide nudity ban. In addition, there will be a protest of the ban on the steps of City Hall, facing the Civic Center.
It's been a sad month for the nudist movement in San Francisco. After a hearing on January 17, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen granted the City's Motion to Dismiss the nudists' class-action lawsuit against the nudity ban, but has given the nudists 45 days to resubmit their complaint. Following his ruling, however, starting February 1—tomorrow!—public nudity will be illegal in San Francisco. The fine for the first offence under the ordinance is $100, while a third offense is punishable by a $500 fine and up to a year in jail. Nudity is already illegal at beaches and in parks, and with very few exceptions such as parades, street fairs and festivals, this makes it nearly impossible for any sort of nude recreation for those who want direct bodily contact with nature.
"However, this does not make the First Amendment go away," wrote nudism activist Gypsy Taub. "The US Constitution still protects political speech. If the nudist activists get arrested or fined while at the protest nude it will be a blatant violation of their First Amendment right."
While the ruling by Judge Chen came as a surprise and a disappointment to the nudists and to many people in San Francisco, the judge gave the nudists 45 days to resubmit their complaint. Once the nudity ban is enforced there will be more opportunities for the nudists to prove that their rights to political and creative self-expression are indeed being violated by this ordinance. The nudist activists are preparing to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as to resubmit their complaint to Judge Chen. Taub assures that the struggle to overturn the nudity ban will continue until the ban is defeated. The nudists and their lawyer Christina DiEdoardo, who can be reached at 415-846-9531 (cell) or 415-839-5098 (office), are fully determined to win this battle.