Nudists Rally in S.F. After Proposed Laws

A Muni F-Market line streetcar rolls past nudists at Castro and 17th streets, Sept. 24, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif.

The proposition that naked people should be required to sit on a towel, piece of paper, or other such “guard” when sitting in public places was met with, well, nudity over the weekend in San Francisco.

A few dozen naked men and at least one woman gathered in the Castro section of the city Saturday to raise support for nudists as proposed legislation makes its way through the city government to limit how and where nudists can sit publicly, according to the AP. There are currently no laws prohibiting nudity in the city, so long as it is not in the form of  “lewd” behavior.

The proposed laws would prohibit nudists from eating in restaurants and would force them to put down a towel or other material before sitting on public benches or other public places. Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro district, introduced the legislation, and told the New York Times that the number of naked individuals roaming the city has increased recently, and the laws would simply be about keeping public places sanitary.

The nudists, some wearing hats, leis, and sandals, and carrying signs with sayings such as “Get Your Hate Off My Body,” “Naked City Nude In,” and “Buck Naked in Public,” maintained that most nudists already sit on towels or newspapers when in public because of “nudist etiquette.”

Mitch Hightower, the organizer of the so-called “nude-in,” told the AP that the rally was not intended as a protest against the proposal. The goal, Hightower said, was to promote acceptance of the human body no matter what shape or form it comes in.

“The people out here believe there is nothing indecent or offensive about the human body,” he said.

The event was scheduled prior to the introduction of Wiener’s legislation,  and was originally intended as a kick-off to the city’s Folsom Street Fair, a celebration of leather, the report said. Many participants show up to the fair wearing only leather chaps.