NAC Update
San Francisco: proposed anti-nudity ordinance

October 28, 2012

Correction: The initial version of this NAC Update incorrectly identified the Mayor of San Francisco. The Mayor is Ed Lee, who has endorsed Supervisor Wiener’s proposed anti-nudity ordinance. Supervisor David Chiu, who was incorrectly identified as Mayor, has not announced his position on the proposed ordinance. NAC regrets the error.





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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: October 28, 2012
SUBJECT: San Francisco, California
TO: Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an Update from the Naturist Action Committee. NAC renews its request for your immediate involvement in opposition to a proposed ordinance that would impose a ban on nudity throughout San Francisco. If you have not yet written to each member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, NAC encourages you to do so now.

  1. Contact the members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in writing.

  2. Attend a meeting of the City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee on November 5, 2012 at 10 AM.

A brief history and background of this issue was included as a part of the NAC Action Alert that was distributed on October 7, 2012.

You will find the text of that Action Alert online at:

Earlier this month, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced a proposed ordinance that would largely remove the existing individual liberty to choose for oneself what to wear or not to wear. Except for certain events with permits awarded by the government, the covering of specified anatomical parts would be mandatory.

Since the time of the NAC Action Alert, Supervisor Wiener has received support for his proposed ordinance from Mayor Ed Lee. (See correction notice, above.) In varying degrees, other Supervisors appear to remain more open-minded on the topic.

The complete text of the proposed ordinance is included in the Resources section that accompanies the Action Alert online. You should read it for yourself to see how completely Supervisor Wiener is seeking to terminate an existing personal freedom. You should also read for yourself what penalties are sought for clothes-freedom, where there are no penalties at all today. Remember that in California, those who are charged with infractions are not even entitled to jury trials.

When you encounter, in the ordinance text, a reference to “Section 1071.1(b)(2) of the San Francisco Police Code,” you should recognize that as Supervisor Wiener’s successful attempt from a year ago to impose certain partial restrictions on the unclad. This year, he has proposed the next step, which is essentially eradication.

Many of you have already written to the Supervisors. The response to the Action Alert has been gratifying, and NAC THANKS YOU. However, there is work yet to be done.


NAC asks that you write to the members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BOS). Send your comments by e-mail or surface mail. Those who will be at the meeting on November 5 are also encouraged to write.

NAC is requesting ALL NATURISTS and other concerned individuals to contact San Francisco supervisors on this important matter, regardless of your place of residence.

Send a letter, a fax or an e-mail. Phone calls may be less effective in this specific context, but if that’s your best option, make that call!


San Francisco Board of Supervisors:
Paper mail address is the same for each Supervisor
   City and County of San Francisco
   1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
   San Francisco, CA 94102-4689

Dist.  1 Eric Mar 
  TEL (415) 554-7410 FAX (415) 554-7415

Dist.  2 Mark Farrell
  TEL (415) 554-7752 FAX (415) 554-7843

Dist.  3 David Chiu
  TEL (415) 554-7450 FAX (415) 554-7454

Dist.  4 Carmen Chu
  TEL (415) 554-7460 FAX (415) 554-7432

Dist.  5 Christina Olague
  TEL (415) 554-7630 FAX (415) 554-7634

Dist.  6  Jane Kim 
  TEL (415) 554-7970 FAX (415) 554-7974

Dist.  7 Sean Elsbernd
  TEL (415) 554-6516 FAX (415) 554-6546

Dist.  8 Scott Wiener
  TEL (415) 554-6968 FAX (415) 554-6909

Dist.  9 David Campos
  TEL (415) 554-5144 FAX (415) 554-6255

Dist. 10 Malia Cohen
  TEL (415) 554-7670 FAX (415) 554-7674

Dist. 11 John Avalos
  TEL (415) 554-6975 FAX (415) 554-6979

NAC encourages you to send copies of your faxes and paper mail to:
      NAC, PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903.
Send copies of your e-mails to:

1. Supervisor Wiener is the author of the proposed anti-nudity ordinance.
2. Supervisors Chu, Olaque and Elsbernd are members of the committee that will hear the proposed ordinance on November 5.
3. All supervisor positions in ODD-NUMBERED districts are up for election in the polling scheduled for November 6, 2012. Incumbent supervisors will serve through the end of the year.
4. Supervisor Elsbernd is term limited and is not eligible to run in the upcoming election.


   a) Be polite.

   b) Be known. 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. Anonymous letters have very little impact.

   c) Be focused. Keep your correspondence brief and on target.

   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. For example, if you are among those who are disappointed that Supervisor Wiener has chosen to use dated pejoratives like “nudist colony” in his public comments, then you should say so. Regardless, you must not allow your correspondence 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.

   f) Be sure to make a request that your correspondence (letter, fax, e-mail) be included in the permanent public record of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

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 / writing 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.

These suggestions are specifically for residents of San Francisco:

   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 in the San Francisco area, or can be there on November 5, NAC requests that you attend a public meeting of the City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee that is scheduled to be held on Monday, November 5, 2012.

  City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee
   1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244
   San Francisco, CA 94102-4689
   Monday, November 5 - 10:00 AM

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

Each speaker at the public hearing on November 5 will have just TWO MINUTES. Introduce yourself and move quickly to make your points. Consider using a selected small handful from the talking points given above. Two minutes is not very long.

The Naturist Action Committee is motivated by fundamental beliefs in body acceptance and personal freedoms. The proposed San Francisco ordinance flies in the face of both of those basic naturist tenets.

To avoid confusion, NAC must differentiate itself from other nudist organizations that have expressed interest in the San Francisco situation. Confronted by similar proposed anti-nudity ordinances in other California cities, NAC is not the organization that has touted itself as having "never advocated ’walking nude down Main Street.’" NAC has not sought exemptions from anti-nudity laws or ordinances for members of specific nudist associations.

The Naturist Action Committee is an early arrival to the San Francisco battle. For years, NAC has been working with individual local residents of San Francisco, and especially in the Castro district, where much of the recent focus has been. NAC has been involved since well before the time Supervisor Wiener introduced his proposed ordinance.

NAC volunteers have ridden in San Francisco’s World Naked Bike Ride. NAC participated in the Nude-In on September 22, and NAC director Charles Harris was one of 27 people who attended the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association meeting on September 26 to discuss the nudity issue. NAC alerted local naturists to that meeting and continues working with Gay Naturists International to improve local awareness.

NAC will be attending the committee meeting on November 5 and will speak there.

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 direct links:
  to the NAC Action Alert:
  to this NAC Update:

The Naturist Action Committee is the volunteer nonprofit political adjunct to The Naturist Society. NAC exists to advance and protect the rights and interests of naturists throughout North America. Fighting for clothing-optional freedoms in public places is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you.

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