San Francisco Bans Public Nudity, Except for Parades

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Lawmakers in San Francisco narrowly approved a proposal to ban public nudity on Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors rejected arguments that the measure would tarnish the city's reputation for tolerance.

The measure was introduced because of growing complaints about a group of men who routinely went without clothes in the city's predominantly gay Castro District.

"The Castro and San Francisco in general, is a place of freedom, expression, and acceptance," Supervisor Scott Wiener said Tuesday. "But freedom, expression, and acceptance does not mean anything goes under any circumstances. Our public spaces are for everyone and as a result it's appropriate to have some minimal standards of behavior."

One supervisor argued against the plan. He said he was worried about civil liberties, free speech, and San Francisco's style.

"I'm concerned about civil liberties, about free speech, about changing San Francisco's style and how we are as a city," Supervisor John Avalos said.

But exemptions will be made for people who take part in street fairs and parades, including the city's annual gay pride event.

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