NAC Update
San Francisco: proposed anti-nudity ordinance

November 3, 2012





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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
Copyright 2012 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration.

DATE: November 3, 2012
SUBJECT: San Francisco, California
TO: Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is a further Update from the Naturist Action Committee concerning the proposed anti-nudity ordinance in San Francisco, California. This NAC Update modifies and enhances:
  The NAC Action Alert of October 7, 2012
  The NAC Update of October 28, 2012

Those previous NAC communiqués are available online, as indicated.

If you live in the Bay Area or can arrange to be there this coming Monday morning, we ask you to attend an important meeting of three City Supervisors who will be convening as a committee to consider the proposed anti-nudity ordinance. Members of the public will be given the opportunity to speak briefly.

  WHAT: City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee.
  WHEN: November 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST.
  WHERE: San Francisco City Hall, room 263. NOTE THE ROOM CHANGE.


  1. Daylight Saving Time “falls back” this weekend. The committee meeting on Monday morning begins at 10 AM PACIFIC STANDARD TIME.

  2. The City gives the address for City Hall as:
“1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.” However, Google Maps and Google Earth have difficulty mapping that location accurately. Other mapping apps do better. “Goodlett Place” is just the name given to Polk Street, as it runs in front of City Hall, a couple of short blocks north of Market Street. Parking will likely be a problem. Adjust accordingly. The use of public transportation is recommended.

  3. If you intend to speak, you will have just TWO MINUTES. That’s not very long. Those who will speak must sign in before the meeting. Be there early.


  1. The room number for the committee hearing has been changed. The new room number in City Hall for the meeting is ROOM 263.

  2. Supervisor Scott Wiener is the author of the proposed anti-nudity ordinance. He has made a last minute revision to the text of his proposed anti-nudity ordinance. The complete text of the revised proposal is included with this NAC Update on the NAC web site:

  3. Supervisors Carmen Chu, Christina Olaque and Sean Elsbernd are the members of the committee that will hear the proposed ordinance and comments from the public on November 5.

  4. All supervisor positions in ODD-NUMBERED districts are up for election in the polling scheduled for November 6, 2012. That includes Supervisor Chu. Incumbent supervisors will serve through the end of the year.

  5. Supervisor Elsbernd is term limited and is not eligible to run in the upcoming election.

  6. Even if you do not intend to speak, your presence at the meeting is valuable.


Regardless of the outcome of the committee meeting on November 5, it is NOT the final step in the process, and it will NOT be our final opportunity to oppose Supervisor Wiener’s ill-conceived proposal.

The 11th-hour change made by Sup. Wiener on October 30 removes the previously proposed criminalization of exposed buttocks. Among those in San Francisco who don’t always choose to be completely covered is a fairly significant contingent of men who sometimes wear leather accoutrements, including leather chaps that expose their buttocks. Observers see Supervisor’s Wiener’s text revision as a way of neutralizing opposition to his proposed ordinance from the leather community.

In place of the “buttocks” wording in the text of his proposed ordinance, Sup. Wiener has substituted “anal region,” a term that has no precise legal definition, but appears nonetheless in other California anti-nudity laws, regulations and ordinances.


   a) Be polite.

   b) Be known. You will be asked to give your name and address. If you are a San Francisco resident, a California resident or a frequent visitor to San Francisco, be sure to point that out.

   c) Be focused. Keep your remarks brief and on target. You have just TWO MINUTES.

   d) Be positive. Remember that we’re trying to ENCOURAGE the Supervisors to respond positively to our concerns in this matter. Please do not take a scolding tone. By all means, be vigorous in the presentation of your ideas. Regardless, you must not allow your remarks to become a personal character assassination or an ad hominem attack.

   e) Be clear. Say that you SUPPORT diversity in San Francisco, and that regular clothing-optional public activities are an important part of that diversity.

Supervisor Wiener and others have suggested that the majority of San Franciscans are offended by non-sexual nudity. That’s not true.

In late 2009, the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) commissioned a reputable polling organization, Zogby International, to conduct a statistically valid opinion survey of adult California residents. NEF asked for fairly tight geographical sampling within the state. The result is that we know what San Franciscans think about nudity.

Zogby tells us that the statewide margin of error for any question is +/-3.4 percentage points. Margins of error are higher for geographical subgroups.

Question number 5 in the 2009 NEF California Poll was:
Do you agree or disagree that you are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others?”

Here are the survey responses for SAN FRANCISCO
  Strongly agree     16.4%
  Somewhat agree     18.3%
  Somewhat disagree  17.0%
  Strongly disagree  46.1%
  Not sure           2.2%

The numbers speak for themselves. Combining “somewhat” and “strongly,” MORE THAN SIXTY-THREE PERCENT of San Francisco residents say they are NOT personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others.

View the statewide 2009 NEF California Poll:

Additional talking points:

   1) The author of the proposed ordinance makes a point of allowing nudity for certain events. It’s clear from that context that nudity itself is not universally offensive. At the same time, personal freedoms are daily liberties. They are not things to be kept in a closet and trotted out only for special events.

   2) Uncertainty about the legal status of public nudity deters attendance at major events and other, less widely known and attended events, creating a potentially significant loss of tourist revenues. 

   3) San Francisco’s reputation for progressive ideas serve as a model to which other cities aspire, That model would be irreparably tarnished if San Francisco were to be just like any other city.

   4) The proposed ordinance ignores the opinion of a majority of the residents of San Francisco, as shown by the NEF-California Poll. (See discussion above.)

   5) Officials have sometimes pointed to lewd behavior as a reason for prohibiting nudity. In doing so, they have confused simple nudity with lewd behavior. Police presently have the authority and responsibility to stop lewd activity, and naturists encourage them to exercise that responsibility appropriately.

   6) The controversy over nudity at Jane Warner Plaza is local, not citywide. It does not require a drastic citywide solution which is out of proportion to the extent of the controversy.

   7) Legislation should be designed to efficiently solve a specific problem, without creating potentially significant unpredictable side effects.

   8) The proposed ordinance, by restricting the personal liberties which make San Francisco unique, would diminish rather than improve quality of life in the city.

   9) Any ordinance restricting public nudity should ensure that the right of free speech and expression protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution is not in any way abridged. Limiting public nudity to permitted events would chill this right.

If you’re planning to attend the meeting, please contact:
  NAC board member Charles Harris
  (415) 492-1455

or NAC executive director Bob Morton
  (512) 282-6621

If you have already written to the members of the Board of Supervisors, NAC thanks you! It’s not too late to write. Consult the NAC Action Alert that was distributed on October 7, 2012. You will find the text of that Action Alert online at:

Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Action Alert on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts.

For your convenience, here are some direct links:
  to the NAC Action Alert of 10/07/12:
  to the NAC Update of 10/28/28:
  to this NAC Update:

The Naturist Action Committee relies entirely on the voluntary contributions of people like you, so that NAC can continue its important work on behalf of naturists.

After you've made your plans to attend the Committee meeting on November 5, please take a moment to send your donation to:

   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:

Thank you once again for choosing to make a difference!


Charles Harris
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       -
Board Member Charles Harris     -
Board Member Allen Baylis       -
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  -

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