San Francisco Nudists Win Right To Be Naked In The City

Coburn Palmer - Author

Sep. 25 2015, Updated 6:49 p.m. ET

San Francisco’s nudity ban took effect February, 2013, but a small group of naked people have been fighting the decision ever since and now they might be making some progress.

Friday, a federal judge ordered the city of San Francisco to issue a permit allowing SF Nudists the right to march in a naked parade Saturday starting from Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro District.

The group calls themselves body freedom activists and they’ve applied for at least 12 parade permits, but they’ve been turned down every time. The San Francisco nudity ban allows people to get naked for parades like the Folsom Street Fair if they have an approved permit.

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The San Francisco nudists are suing the city in federal court claiming their civil rights are being violated by a police force that refuses to issue them permits and then arrests them for protesting naked.

The group is led by activist Gypsy Taub, who argues for body freedom, or everyone’s right to do with their own body as they please including getting naked, having an abortion, or working in the sex industry.

The nudists won a recent victory in federal court when a judge awarded them $20,000 in legal fees and now the case moves on the Ninth Circuit Court, according to SFist.

Taub and sometime-political candidate George Davis have been fighting the city’s nudity ban since it was first proposed by city Supervisor Scott Wiener. They hired first amendment attorneys D. Gill Sperlein and Lawrence Walters to represent them in this separate case.

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A temporary restraining order issued by District Judge Richard Seeborg allows the nudists the right to stage their nude-in beginning Saturday at noon.

The judge found that San Francisco’s nudity ban didn’t specify the number of people required to form a parade and the city had erred by not approving the group’s permit.

There’s also a nude Halloween event planned for October 17 dubbed Night of the Naked. Unlike other clothing-optional events, anyone who shows up for this event is required to be naked except for optional body paints or masks.

The event takes place at the Little Box Theater in the Dog Patch and tickets are $20.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]


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