SF Pride is not exempt from city’s new “nudity ban” (told you so)

When San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener was pushing his peers on the Board of Supervisors to approve his second round of restrictions on public nudity – this time an outright ban – he and his allies bent over backwards to assure everyone the city’s famous street fairs would be fully exempted. These would of course include Folsom Street, Bay to Breakers, and San Francisco Pride.

Nobody in their right mind should have believed them.

It just didn’t make sense.  At the hearing a skeptical supervisor asked Wiener what makes nudity okay in one public space and not another. It was a question the nudity obsessed-Wiener wisely didn’t answer. The ban passed, and after the vote, a fellow supervisor representing the touristy North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf areas, in a seemingly nervous gesture, assured the gallery that this was a minor ordinance and would not change the character of San Francisco.

gypsy arrest back

In the weeks since the ban went into effect, the city has spared no expense enforcing Wiener’s flagship vanity legislation, giving it the highest priority. Recently nearly two dozen officers showed up to make arrests at a nude protest dance at Harvey Milk Plaza. That would be about six officers per exposed genital in a city where you can buy crack openly on the street (100 block of Turk, if you’re looking).

San Francisco Pride has now informed exhibitors that the nudity ban does in fact apply to them, and they risk arrest by crossing the nude line. Well, there you have it.

Reasonable people can disagree about this ban, but there’s no excuse for the disingenuous way it was it was sold to the people. If the anti-nudity crowd had nothing to be ashamed of they shouldn’t have been so deceptive about their broad agenda. This is what they wanted all along, and why they insisted on a citywide ban to a “problem” that was only common on one city block. Ban supporters have been quite vocal about their larger ambitions in forum’s like Wiener’s Facebook page, while using sophistry with the general public.

Castro nudity protestIn the wake of the Pride guidelines, Supervisor Wiener continued to say the parades are exempt, but you can feel the asterisks. “Pride is exempted under the parade exemption. My legislation has absolutely no application to Pride. I believe Pride has always included this language, well before the legislation. You can take that up with the organization. Since the early 1980s, nudity has been prohibited in San Francisco parks. My legislation didn’t concern parks. Civic Center Plaza is technically a park, meaning that nudity has been prohibited there for more than 30 years. So, while the law isn’t enforced during pride, to my knowledge, nudity in Civic Center Plaza has been illegal for decades and continues to be so, technically.”

Many things aren’t adding up.

Perhaps it should’ve been a surprise that in the end it was the nudists who had nothing to hide.


Chris Andoe is a St. Louis based writer and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “StopDrLaura.com” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in St. Louis, his adopted hometown, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. While living in San Francisco, Andoe made headlines taking on the amorphous hacker group Anonymous for publishing nude photos of a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesperson, saying “Puritanical shame-based tactics have no place in the capital of sexual liberation”, and he extensively covered the city’s jarring gentrification, from mass evictions to the nudity ban. Back in St. Louis Andoe’s hosted public events on the subway and elsewhere as “The Emperor,” and writes the Tales from the Emperor column for Vital Voice Magazine. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The St. Louis Post Dispatch. His upcoming book of short stories, Delusions of Grandeur, is expected out early next year. Twitter: @EmperorAndoe

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  • Ally Quinn

    Could people stop saying that breasts are genitals? They shouldn’t be outlawed, it’s sexist and against the constitution….but will continue until everyone wants it. Unfortunately, many people in the US are so religiously turned-off by nudity and think that breasts are lewd and obscene, that even in places where it’s legal, you still get harassed if you’re a woman with your top off. Meanwhile, a 350lb man is airing out his “manboobs”. Ugh.

  • Jason

    There were plenty of full nudes all over pride, men and women, even saw a few walk right past the line of cops with no issue. Heck there was a ‘meet a nudist’ stand.

  • http://twitter.com/WiredGypsy Wired Gypsy

    If Weiner is so gung ho against nudity in public parks why doesn’t he take on Buena Vista Park at night?

  • http://twitter.com/WiredGypsy Wired Gypsy

    I’m still shocked a school gave him a law degree. He seems to make things up as he goes.

  • http://twitter.com/WiredGypsy Wired Gypsy

    Most of the Castro is only progressive when it comes to gay rights. If that wasn’t an issue, it’d be more like the Log Cabin Republicans.

  • UncleBucky

    Are the nude beaches, eh? Cool! We need those in Chicago, haha!

  • Demetri Moshoyannis

    Garrett, I’m the Executive Director of Folsom Street Events. Our fairs (Up Your Alley, Folsom Street Fair) are exempt from this nudity ban. Unlike SF Pride, our events do not take place on park grounds; so there is no ambiguity in our exemption under the law. In fact, we will be releasing a statement shortly to say that we will be expanding our coat and clothes check areas.

  • Demetri Moshoyannis

    As fair producers, your Exhibitors are considered part of your event (unlike the patrons), and you may be held liable for any behavior that happens in that booth (potentially). Perhaps it is because there has been a cash transaction; they have been charged to be on the fairgrounds. So, often, guidelines for behavior are different. I met with the SF Pride E.D. today, and they will be putting out a statement shortly, I believe. In the case of Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair, we will continue to allow nudity! :)

  • carrie

    stupid law

    Enjoy life by being natural. 【nudistsocialclub.c0m】 is a place where individuals can relax, be at ease and develop an acceptance of the natural human form. Challenge yourself by trying the nudist lifestyle.

  • carrie

    careful. my friends, they think nudists is all about rude, they are wrong

    Enjoy life by being natural. 【nudistsocialclub.com】 is a place where individuals can relax, be at ease and develop an acceptance of the natural human form. Challenge yourself by trying the nudist lifestyle.

  • thriver7

    If everyone shows up at Civic Center naked the police can’t do much. The “No sitting and lying” bill kept homeless folks off of my sidewalk for about a week. When I am on the road – I am SURROUNDED by people illegally yammering or texting on their cellphones and I don’t see cops rushing to do anything about it.

    As for Weiner – I think the bigger question is why do “progressive” neighborhoods continuously elect the less progressive of the candidates. We had Mandelbaum running against him and we chose Weiner instead. Is this our own little version of Log Cabin Republicanism?

  • http://twitter.com/thinktank79 Matt Munson

    He wants to replace Tom Amianano.

  • Ninong

    If you’re ever driving south of Carmel, there’s a large sandy beach just before you get to 26474 Cabrillo Hwy (in other words, it’s before you get to Bixby Bridge). That address is (or at least was) the home of an artist, why is why there is that gigantic two-story high wall of glass windows facing north. Anway, there’s parking on both sides of Hwy. 1 that will accomodate at least 40 cars, maybe more. That beach was especially interesting in the early 1980’s when I lived down there, back when Fort Ord in Seaside was active and home to the 7th Infantry Division. It was sort of a clothing-optional beach, meaning if you walked more than about 150 yards to the north of where the pathway took you, you would run into the mostly nude section. Google Maps shows it beautifully, just input that address and then look to the north.

  • dougas

    the spanish changed it for the indians, the mexicans changed it for the spanish, the gold seekers changed it for the mexicans.. and so on. cities change. sadly, now every major city in this world worth living in is now becoming more and more closed off to anyone but the very rich. what i find really sad is tht if one called for a rally in jane warner plaza tomorrow to protest the changes taking place in the city to rob people of their homes, few would show up but if you also held a wet jockstrap contest and played rhianna’s new CD at the same time, the plaza would be mobbed. i am a socialist and an athiest and i resent the faux liberals on this site who bully everyone who doesn’t agree with them by callling them republicans or uncle toms. they serve the interests of the oligarchy by keeping us from addressing the real issues. we can continue to focus on whether cock rings should be allowed in jane warner plaza or we can turn the focus to helping all the homeless, including the increasing number of older women, now in our city. if you don’t like what i say well call i can say is that i am queerer than you. put on your clothes and right the real fight!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Oh, I’m sure some of the riders ignored the law, but the organizers now had to warn them that they were violating the new law. Totally unnecessary interference by Wiener’s obsession.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    The majority of them were nude. Maybe not at the initial rally point, but the bicyclists I saw were shoes, hats and day packs and nothing more.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Wrong. The bike ride was not nude. The riders covered exactly what the law now requires them to cover.

    Nice of you to shill for Wiener.

  • douglas

    my goodness you are bitter. is it because you can’t afford to live in the castro or do you just have something against gay jews and anyone like myself who just happens to think differently than you do?

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    We just had a major nude bike ride here in SF with no arrests.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yes!

  • SkippyFlipjack

    by “perspective” I mean “information from someone with an inside view of what’s actually going on.”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Never underestimate the SF GLTB communities. Can you just imagine a flash mob of penis and vagina costumes in Civic Center, dancing to “She’s Irresistible”?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, but as a community we are very inventive and we will wear penis and vagina costumes and watch the confusion.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    laughing………there is an implied transgression somewhere in that statement.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I imagine you can’t wave ‘your’ genitalia about. You seem to have done a Weiner transference.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Except the Castro is yupped and breederized like Noe Valley these days. The gays that are left are property owners. older and Obot Republicans.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, especially the part where you have to climb down the bluff. ( no I didn’t mean buff.)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Blacks Beach and Land’s End.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What about babies? Can they be nude? Is breast feeding allowed? Are diapers considered as cod pieces? The mind boggles. Can censorship in the weeds survive?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    If nipples are covered by pasties does that count as clothing.?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh’s the pity, a Gucci wearing down arrow from Pac Heights. Meet you at the Lion Pub and know you by your sweater set and pearls. air kisses xxxxxooooo

  • http://www.facebook.com/holiday.ohara Holiday O’Hara

    Just because people are discussing this doesn’t mean we are not discussing other matters as well. Body shaming is most certainly a way to control people. I’m sad that you think it’s right to support something that is trying to control you.

  • Sweetie

    His post doesn’t even say those events are exempt. In fact, it suggests the opposite:

    “I think you are referring to recently published guidelines for Exhibitors, not fair participants.”

  • BlueIdaho

    History simply repeats itself. There have always been elitist gay Uncle Toms in SF. They aggressively worked against Harvey Milk in the seventies, denied there was an AIDS crisis in the 80’s and successfully bought their mouthpiece Diane Feinstein who did more harm to the gay population in SF than anyone else in it’s history.

  • Sweetie

    Nudity bans rest on the belief that the human body is evil, corrupt, and so on. That belief is part of the basis for demanding that gay people not exist, or at least pretend not to (the “closet”).

    Nudity bans certainly constitute the “government surveillance” you claim to oppose.

  • Sweetie

    Naive people bought the ruse and now it’s permanent.

  • Sweetie

    The only “perspective and information” I saw was that the exhibitors for those festivals are going to be banned from displaying nudity. That makes it very hard indeed to claim that they aren’t affected.

  • Sweetie

    “I think you are referring to recently published guidelines for Exhibitors, not fair participants.”

    So, you’re saying the article is correct: that the ban WILL affect those events?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Nothing made Scott Wiener look reasonable. He used a bazooka to take on a small problem in one park. And it was never about that one problem. It was about Wiener being a brazen political climber who wants Yuppie’s to forget that he’s just a faggot like the rest of us–except with a stick up his uptight ass.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yep, Wiener is a climber who will do whatever it takes to ensure that his pesky faggotry doesn’t interfere with his climb. He has sellout written all over him.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    You grossly underestimate the spillover effect of legislation like this. Nudity has now been rendered generally unacceptable, and you’ve been turned into an object of special privilege–mere “toleration” of a non-compliant oddity. That status won’t last long, and you’ll eventually be forced to conform as well. And we’ll have that Yuppie-servicing, gay traitor Wiener to thank for it.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    The topic isn’t going away. As predicted, it has now begun to affect the traditional gay events–just as many people warned you fucking dumbasses that it would.

    Go back in the closet. Please! We have plenty of gay Uncle Toms already. We don’t need any more. If you think you can come out and then proceed to eradicate everything in the gay community that is displeasing to your snobbish suburban mindset, you better adjust that attitude fast.

    We all had to come out, honey. You don’t have any monopoly on the experience, and it gives you no special right to lord over the rest of us.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    When I lived near Santa Cruz, it was commonly accepted that a section of beach near Davenport was ‘clothing optional.’

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yes, and they’ve found themselves a good little queer Uncle Tom to put a gay face on their intolerant Yuppie-dom. Wiener wants to climb, and he doesn’t want his pesky faggotry to get in the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    It’s been ages since I lived in San Diego but I assume that “Black’s Beach” on the La Jolla coast is still a nude beach?

  • UncleBucky

    The nudity ban passed BARELY? LOL. Well, that’s where my mind was for the moment.

  • UncleBucky

    Nice.

  • UncleBucky

    Doesn’t every good thing get yuppifried eventually? :(

  • UncleBucky

    At their peril, that is the SF Police. If they get over-zealous, it could blow up in their faces.

  • UncleBucky

    Where are the nude beaches along California’s coast?

  • nicho

    The Yuppie Invasion is the end of San Francisco as we knew it.

  • nicho

    First, they came for the genitals, and because you had no genitals, you did not speak out….

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Thanks for providing some perspective and information. It would be great if the author made some calls, did some reporting and updated the post.

  • Savage8862

    It is time the good people of SF – Castro district get candidates to replace these lying fools.

  • Indigo

    It’s the end of San Francisco as we knew it.

  • douglas

    jesus christ can we stop talking about the right to wave our genitals at everyone and instead start waving our signs and fists at what is happening in our world today with increased government surveillance, drones, escalting housing and food costs. coming out of the closet was a painful process for me and witnessing this continued distraction about the right to be nude almost makes me wish to go to back into the closet. of course, the writer of the article above lives in oakland. figures. most of the people demanding the right to be naked in the castro didn’t live in the castro. i do live in the casto and i for one applaud scott weiner and would like this topic to go away so we can discuss more important issues.

  • marcos

    Now that the legislation passed, it would take six votes and a mayoral signature to repeal or eight votes and no signature to override. That ain’t gonna happen. I doubt that the voters would vote to repeal the measure if four supervisors or a signature campaign put it on the ballot. This is a case of a handful of crazies who took a lack of prohibition for an explicit right and habituated themselves to a neighborhood commercial shopping district on any remotely sunny day. It was the lack of self consciousness on the part of the crazies of the legal and political climate that made Scott Wiener look reasonable.

  • usagi

    Mayor, then possibly Pelosi’s seat when she retires/dies with a stint in Sacramento in the interim (the CA leg is the best case against term limits BTW).

  • Demetri Moshoyannis

    Up Your Alley and Folsom Street Fair will NOT be affected by this ban. I’m the Executive Director, and we have no intention of changing our policy. With all due respect to the writer, I believe there might be some misinformation in this article. When you say “San Francisco Pride has now informed participants that the nudity ban does in fact apply to them, and they risk arrest by crossing the nude line. Well, there you have it,” I think you are referring to recently published guidelines for Exhibitors, not fair participants. Did you call SF Pride to ask for clarification? If SF Pride moves forward with a policy to ban nudity at the event, it is their decision, not an outcome of this legislation.

  • PatrickMonkRn

    DO NOT TRUST OR FURTHER ENABLE THE LITTLE WEASEL. He’s following Newsom’s slimy trail of using an SF elected position to slither on up the political ladder, but at least Newsom paid his dues as Supervisor and Mayor. This little snake may even try to grab the ring before finishing one term, probably leaving as much debris behind him as Newsom.
    Interesting quote from Newsom in a recent interview on Huff Post, “I’m past my sell by date in many respects in politics”. Here’s hoping that’s true, for both of them. Just my 2c.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The SF Police will go out of their way to exercise the hate on gays.

  • GlennF

    Didn’t the nudity ban barely pass by just one vote? If so, perhaps if
    those that voted for the ban would have known beforehand that this would likely
    happen, some of them would have voted against it and the ban would have
    failed.

  • http://twitter.com/GarrettinSF GarrettinSF

    While I dislike Weiner and would not have voted for him if I lived in the District, I don’t this should be a big surprise to anyone who had read the ordinance and/or listened to the discussions. To be clear, Bay to Breakers and SF Pride have a nudity ban for years. The question is whether the SF Police will enforce during those events (and more at risk, Folsom). It’s pretty highly unlikely that will happen.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Weiner is just another ladder climbing bourgeois gay working toward his first pair of Gucci loafers and dropping Harvey Milk’s name at every fundraising cocktail party he crashes.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    sort of par for the course for SF supervisors; lots of this kind of thing

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    So what are Supervisor Weiner’s larger ambitions here? Call me cynical but when a minor-league politician pours so much effort into manufacturing a cause celebre for himself I assume that he’s drumming up notoriety for a later run at a higher office.

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