Nudists to sue over Wiener law

Photo by Mike Koozmin/SF Newspaper Co.

Sup. Scott Wiener's ban on public nudity hasn't even come to a vote at the full board, but the nudists who oppose it are already planning to sue. A group of five plaintiffs, including former mayoral candidate George Davis and Gypsy Taub, who disrobed at a hearing on the issue, are arguing that the city lacks the legal authority to enact the ban, which they call a violation of protected free speech.

Christina DeEduoardo, the group's attorney, told me she plans to file this week in federal court in San Francisco. "We're going to ask for a temporary restraining order to prevent the supervisors from enacting this law," she explained.

It's not easy to get a court to pre-emptively block a law that hasn't been approved, but DeEduoardo said she's going to argue that state law pre-empts San Francisco from taking this type of action. "When a municipality does something at odds with state law, there's a reason to prevent it," she said.

California law already regulates lewd behavior, and the state courts have consistently held that mere nudity is not a violation of that statute. "Nothing says the city has to power to regulate dress," she argued. "It's the equivalent of the Board of Supervisors saying that in October the only colors you can wear are black and orange."

Even if the state doesn't pre-empt San Francisco's right to ban nudity, DeEduoardo said, there's a First Amendment issue here: "This purports to ban all nude expression. My clients engage in nudity as speech. The law is way over-broad." There's even an equal-protection argument: Wiener's legislation specifically exempts major city events, like Bay to Breakers and the Folsom Street Fair -- but those things cost a lot of money. "So the city's saying if you have the money for a permit, you can engage in nudity, but if you can't afford that, and you just want to go au naturel, then you are a criminal."

Matt Dorsey, spokesperson for the City Attorney's Office, told me he doesn't expect any sort of injunction. "State law is very clear that injunctions can't be granted to prevent a legislative act," he said.

If a federal judge won't issue a restraining order, the nudists are going to sue to overturn the law the minute it passes. So there's likely to be a long, expensive legal battle -- and it seems so silly. Particularly since it's getting chilly out and the rainy season is about to start, and Mother Nature will be dealing with the naked guys pretty quickly.


Have you seriously got nothing more substantial to write about?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

Tim's already gone on record stating that he'd rather kids stroll through courtyards full of cock than walk past a condo on their way to school (no official word yet on if he feels the same about parklets full of pubes). So I wouldn't expect the Bay Guardian to be moving on to "more substantial" things to write about anytime soon. They probably think this issue is the best shot they've had at winning anything in a long time.

And, I'm still waiting for an explanation as to how this is different from walking up to someone, ripping open a trench coat, and flashing your junk at them.

Posted by Guest Bedroom on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

Progressives are social liberals if not libertarians. The purpose of the liberal political project was to bring reason to bear on replacing religion and royal power. I'm glad that they're suing but don't see where an elected Superior Court judge is going to enjoin a law. They might prevail on appeal but that is costly.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

They like born again types are the most obsessed about how you live your life, for your own good.

The naked types at market and Castro and the Bay Guardian "liberals" are libertarian in that they want to force their idiocy on you, but otherwise they always see a need to limit that freedom.

The problem that the so called libertarian left has, which is the same as the so called libertarian right,... your rights to be an asshole stop at my rights not to be treated like an asshole.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

or pet ownership fer fuck's sake. Libertarians are not big booster of rent or vacancy control. San Francisco is the alternative of libertarianism in every single way.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

Why isn't anyone thinking about the children?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

Oh lord. Here we go with the "what about the children?" drivel.

Oh yes, the "What About The Children?" Card. Let's play that thing again. That's always dragged out for repressive measures.

I suspect "The Children" have seen more dicks and asses than the prudes who are whining about them. "The Children" are not these little innocent 1950s-based individuals many people want to believe they are. "The Children" these days have seen and know a lot more than many people want to believe/think. And nudity is not something that will destroy children. They see their own nude bodies in the mirror and it doesn't seem to do them any harm. They were born nude, just like you were. The same for the naked guys. What is wrong with people? How long before we're all required to wear veils and show no skin at all under this right-wing nonsense? No shorts allowed, no tank tops allowed, no this, no that. What particular skin is allowed and what isn't, and why?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

Perhaps you should put some clothes on so that your reading comprehension goes up? The "Why Isn't anyone thinking about the children" bit was about Troll II's minimization of Mar's Happy Meal legislation.

I am sure that Troll II agrees that seeing penis causes permanent damage to a child even though like 1,000,000,000 people in the global south live in small family homes with just one room where everyone sees everything.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

It's about a neighborhood invaded by non-residents who enjoy imposing their own puerile interests on the residents of that neighborhood. That neighborhood's residents are fed up and are letting their supervisor know they want an end to it. Marcos is, as usual, hypocritical in his outspoken support of neighborhood interests when it fits into his paradigm (mass transit) but sternly critical when it doesn't (like now).

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

"That neighborhood's residents are fed up..."

WRONG. Lying again. I'm a neighborhood resident and am NOT fed up.

"It's about a neighborhood invaded by non-residents..."

Up to 10 (naked) people supposedly coming into an area (the Castro) is an "invasion" to you? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. There's more than 10 people on Genetech and Google buses that come into the Castro but I don't hear you whining about THAT as an "invasion."

Lucretia Snapples, nut, I guess you now want a law banning residents from the Castro, for example, from going into the Financial District to work? That's a neighborhood (The Financial District) being "invaded" by non-residents of the Financial District. Or residents in the Sunset can't go into North Beach, for example? Yes, we need a new law ordering that all City residents should stay where they live. No one travelling from one district to another for any reason. You must work in the district where you live and receive medical care there. And if you arrived as a visitor on the Embarcadero, you must stay there until you leave the City. You can't go up to Twin Peaks and look at the view. No more moving around from area to area. Idiot.

We currently don't have laws that ban people from going from one area to another in the City. Furthermore, to my knowledge the few naked guys DO live in the Castro. The haters choose to say otherwise for their agenda. But even if the naked guys are not residents of the Castro, what does it matter? It's currently legal to travel from one district to another for the day or longer.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

Run for office against Weiner next time then - make welcoming exhibitionism your signature issue. I'm SURE you'll win.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

Lucretia, I don't think you even live here so why do you care this? If you lived here you would know that his name is not spelled Weiner [sic], especially considering it's printed in the article.

And you completely ignored my point about "the invasion" and "they don't live in the area" nonsense. Typical troll behavior.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

What matters is how the Board votes.

Again - run against WIEner next time on a platform of nudity for all. I'm sure you'll be successful.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

And am fed up. So are many of my neighbors, several of whom made statements at the committee hearing

Posted by Castro Guy on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

Nah, I split the difference here. San Franciscans are fine with casual nudity, they are not okay with the intentional, compulsive stuff in one neighborhood commercial district on every sunny day by the same creepy people.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

I always wondered where you fit in the progressive world. This explains a lot.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

Clothes on = increased reading comprehension?

Oh never mind.

I knew what you were doing. I was adding to it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

I think you're missing the point:

This city-wide ban will go into effect regardless of, "it getting chilly out and the rainy season is about to start, and Mother Nature will be dealing with the naked guys pretty quickly."

The ban will go into effect regardless of what the few naked guys do.

This Board seem to give this right-wing piece of work Wiener anything he wants, while he's unofficially running for mayor and using reactionary divisive issues as part of his mayoral campaign to make a name for himself. He's extremely transparent. I expect the Board to pass this ban accordingly. And when something is banned, it doesn't return. And like sit-lie, I don't know how the ban would be enforced. Do the police really have the luxury and resources to race over to the Castro to cite a naked guy or two every time some prudes with "issues" in the neighborhood whine about them and call the cops?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

With issues are the naked guys. No the cops won't come flying over, but there is often a beat cop walking the neighborhood

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

Love the double entendre

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

It's a little obvious, don't you think?

Posted by Snoozers on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

He said "weiner" huh-huh-huh.

Posted by Beavis on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

city money. So he wants the city to preempt this by not enacting the legislation they're going to sue over. That makes sense.

We badly need a law in this state where the cost of defending against nuisance lawsuits can be turned around and forced on those who file them.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Scott Wiener has been so disappointing as supervisor.

A couple of months ago he wanted to put astroturf in Golden Gate Park. He's amiable but not too smart.

Posted by Viper on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

"He's amiable but not too smart."

I don't find hate "amiable."

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Really, one ordinance on public nudity and it is hate?

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

closed. 28 years later I'm still waiting for the trains to pull up downtown and the roundups to begin!

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

Seriously, they just get off on showing everyone their junk. This is not about free speech, it is about exhibitionism and getting their jollies off.

To top it off they are stupid too. There are numerous local ordinances that have outlawed public nudity. Idiots.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 7:03 pm
Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

"their junk." ??????????????????

I know you're trying to be "cool," with your hate, but the term "junk" is a pejorative term. (As in: trash, garbage, junk).

Your comment tells me how very fucked up you are when it comes to human sexuality particularly by your referring to a guy's penis and scrotum as "junk." And the naked guys are not "showing off" their penis and scrotum to "everyone." Only those who CHOOSE to look at them. If you don't have the ability to NOT look at something you don't want to see (and there are many instances like that doing one's day), I don't know how you could possibly make it through your day.

Look inward before calling others idiots.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

Remember him? Prattling on about "human sexuality" and children's sexuality? He's baaaaaaack!

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

If it were Michael Brandon naked in the plaza, the sun shining down on his lanky body languidly draped on a chair, his ample member pendulously dangling but for the heft of it all, then nobody would have a problem with it.

But it is not Michael Brandon hanging out every warm and sunny day in the Castro, it is a gaggle of older middle aged white men who don't appear to take very good care of their bodies, no women, no hotties, no diversity.

Nudity should not be outlawed. What is disgusting to me is that the selfish practitioners of this compulsive conduct in a residential/commercial neighborhood might cost us nudity citywide.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

Had to Google him to see who it was, and *that* guy? Ugggh, no. He's like an aged out, B- gay porn star who hasn't seemed to move on to anything else. So he's constantly doing these weird, low level promotions for shitty clubs and stuff. The dude's not attractive.

Posted by Scram on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 8:56 am

So your problem is with nudity in general, not the creeps, so you are a prude.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 9:07 am

Really, you get offended by me calling their penis and scrotum junk? Lol. Frankly I don't by the you don't have to look argument. Total BS. They are all about you looking. If they wanted to be naked, they could sit at Baker Beach or in their ving room, but instead they choose to sit at a very busy intersection, stand around and pose etc., and get off on the attention and shock value.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

They're attempting to appropriate nudism's arguments, when nudists don't argue for the right to impose their nudity on non-nudists.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

Don't you think you're overreacting a little? The word "junk" has been used as a slang term for a very long time and I've never known anyone to have a problem with it until now. Of course, you're free to assign whatever connotation you want. But you should realize that a vast majority of men probably disagree with your interpretation.

However, I've decided to conduct an experiment. During my next sexual encounter, I will alternate between calling my penis my "junk", and requesting that more attention be paid to my "scrotum". I will note which term killed the mood more effectively and report back with the results.

Posted by uninvited Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 12:55 am

"During my next sexual encounter..."

Well by then sexual terms will have changed entirely so your report will be irrelevant. (Nobody has that much time to wait).

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 1:27 am

It's called Gold's Gym... and it's foolproof!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 9:15 am

So what happens when the geezers put on cock socks after this law passes?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

Considering they're exhibitionists masquerading as nudists. Just doesn't have the same thrill for an exhibitionist when they can't show their cocks.

Posted by Troll II on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

as opposed to revolting.

It sorta reminds me of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court where Twain has the knights out riding around with advertisements on their backs to make them look silly.

These creepy dudes sitting around with socks on their dicks would be comical.

Posted by matlock on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

Public nudity as a matter of course is a vile practice that transgresses virtually every definition of prudent behavior everywhere. Special events, clubs, beaches, theaters and temporary breaches of propriety for artistic and social protest can be accepted,,but nudity as a matter of course is itself an expression of hatred to those who do not share the same values of the nudes. Someone publicly nude in my sight is risking the loss and/or injury to that which they display. I'm not ashamed of the human body but reserve the right to be offended by what I consider public perversion.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 8:59 am

best addressed through therapy or introspection sooner rather than later.

Lacking any formal psychological training but still willing to take a wild guess, I'd say you have powerful homosexual urges which you need to come to terms with. You can choose to do whatever you like with your own body, but please know that it okay to be gay.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 9:24 am

,,and your response is typical. In most contexts, public nudity is considered an act of violence,,and needs responded to in whatever makes the bad behavior stop. The good men of town,,gay and straight alike,,should arise and show these pervs the error of their ways,,,or the way out of town.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2012 @ 11:00 am

means, but I think its best if you work it out for yourself.

Posted by Guest's roommate (p.s. rent was due on the 5th) on Nov. 15, 2012 @ 11:34 am

,,,it's called artistic liberty,,,,,,thanks,,,,

Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2012 @ 2:58 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 15, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

,,,a.k.a. premature punctuation, huh-huh-huh.

Posted by Beavis on Nov. 23, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

You view violence as an appropriate response to being offended?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 10:31 am