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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | LGBTI / Queer | Police State and Prisons
SF Nudity Ban is a Political Witchhunt
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener succeeded in obtaining passage of a very reactionary nudity ban in San Francisco in a close 6 to 5 vote on November 20, 2012, with opposition from David Campos, Christina Olague, John Avalos, Eric Mar, and Jane Kim. All 11 supervisors are Democrats. Supervisor Wiener, elected in 2010 from District 8 (the predominately gay Castro plus Duboce Triangle, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights and Glen Park), who happens to be gay, has hopefully promoted one piece of reactionary legislation too many, as this is clearly a slap in the face to the gay community, so that he is defeated in the next election.
The 5 supervisors opposing this legislation are the usual supporters of good legislation most of the time, and opponents of the reactionary supervisors, namely Wiener, Mark Farrell, David Chiu, Carmen Chu, Sean Elsbernd and Malia Cohen.
This is why we call the Democratic Party the graveyard of all political struggles. All Peace & Freedom Party and Green Party candidates oppose all nudity bans and clothing restrictions.
This viciously reactionary piece of legislation is best described by the San Francisco gay newspaper, the Bay Area Reporter, at
“Federal judge to review nudity ban” by Matthew S. Bajko, 11/22/12, at
Mr. Bajko states:
“The prohibition against anyone over age 5 from exposing his or her genitals, perineum, or anal region in public would take effect February 1 unless the court blocks it. Due to the pending litigation, the date for when the ordinance would become law was pushed back to give the court time to hear the case.”
It is outrageous that this nudity ban includes physically immature children, which includes children ages 6 through 8.
The tone of this article in San Francisco’s gay newspaper clearly indicates that Supervisor Wiener is in trouble in his own district. District 8 voters have a good voting record but when it comes to electing a supervisor, it is always a bitter battle between the pro-landlord candidate, like Wiener, and the pro-tenant candidate, and so far, District 8 has been electing the pro-landlord candidate.
The 11/20/12 news story of the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) on this vote is at:
and gives more information about who voted and what they had to say. The fact that they devote so much detailed coverage is a clear indication that they understand this is an outrageous attack on the gay community.
Any nudity ban is unenforceable as the police cannot be everywhere at once, and thus becomes a political witchhunt. It is also a profound waste of our tax dollars to have this garbage on the Board of Supervisors agenda to begin with, and now there is the inevitable federal lawsuit in which the city plans to defend itself and promote this reactionary legislation, costing the taxpayers even more money. Meanwhile, this City has at least 15,000 homeless, all of whom could be housed immediately if the Board of Supervisors exercised its right of eminent domain to take over all the empty housing units to house the homeless. They could transfer the money from the police budget to a housing budget to pay for this public housing; they could also lower the salaries of all the managers, public officials and all others on the city and county payroll who make over $200,000 a year to $200,000 a year, and transfer those excess funds to a housing budget.
All clothing restrictions are by definition an attack on all women and on the gay community, and are always on the agenda of the witchhunters and the pro-business reactionaries. This writer can easily remember the Fascist Fifties when there was no gay liberation or women’s liberation movement, when women could not wear pants to school, work, the opera house and the like, when men, women and children, had to literally dress up to go shopping in the Union Square area, and much more. The peace movement of the 1960s protesting the war against Vietnam was the umbrella for the counter-culture and all the liberation struggles, including the black, women’s and gay liberation struggles.
Former Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay supervisor on the Board of Supervisors, elected from the Castro, and assassinated on November 27, 1978 by a former cop and member of the Board of Supervisors, Dan White, would be horrified at this legislation. Harvey understood that unity was the key to success of the gay liberation struggle, and to that end, did an excellent job of uniting labor, nonwhites and the gay community on the many issues we have in common.
The nudists need to join with the many protests for various liberation struggles that go on in San Francisco to build a base of support. Bring your classic nude paintings to all of our peace marches; support the Palestinian liberation struggle; support women’s right to abortion against the Catholic Church’s anti-abortion, anti-women parade on Market Street every January, permitted by the local Democratic Party, all so you have more supporters at the next Board of Supervisors meeting as this was only the first reading and now that there is a lawsuit, there could be an injunction.
It is irrelevant whether any of us personally like or dislike the nudists; this is a political issue and as we say in the labor movement: An Injury to One is an Injury to All.