SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has cleared the way for San Francisco’s ban on most displays of public nudity to take effect on Feb. 1.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen ruled Tuesday that the city ordinance prohibiting adults from displaying their genitals does not violate the free speech rights of people who like going out in the buff.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 last month in favor of the ban that was introduced in response to a group of nudists that regularly gathers in the city’s predominantly gay Castro District.
The activists who had challenged the measure also had argued that the ordinance was unfair because it grants exceptions for public nudity at permitted public events such as the city’s gay pride parade.
Chen also rejected that argument.
“Even though we’re not surprised by Judge Chen’s ruling, we’re gratified by an outcome that affirms established case law and preserves reasonable exceptions for permitted events,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. “The plaintiffs took an unlikely position in their case that if they couldn’t be naked everywhere, no one could be naked anywhere. We believed their legal challenge to be baseless, and we’re grateful that the court agreed.”