It’s been a while since we were debating Scott Wiener’s nudity ban, which took effect in 2012 and has resulted in several older nudist gentlemen who frequent Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro having to wear small socks on their dongs. The ordinance, which was supported by some of Wiener’s constituents in the Castro who were tired of the dong parade, was seen by many as another example of San Francisco slipping ever further away from its kooky, libertine, bohemian, and anti-authoritarian roots. But how far back do those roots really go?
That’s the question addressed in a piece by KQED, which takes a broader historical perspective on nudity here by the Bay. There were no laws against public nudity in SF until the 1960’s — under state law, indecent exposure is illegal, when it is sexual in nature, however flaccid-dong nude sunbathing and standing around, as many have observed in the Castro, falls under the purview of local governments. By the time the Summer of Love arrived 50 years ago, conservative San Franciscans decided they were going to draw the line at seeing hippies frolicking nude or having sex in Golden Gate Park, and the city passed a law against nudity in public parks.
Thomas J. Cahill, who served as SF’s chief of police from 1958 to 1970, once described it like this: “It wasn’t uncommon for a gal to come out of the bushes there in the Panhandle without a damn stitch and stand right in front of you with her hands up. I was out in the park and two started going to it on the lawn beside me.” Cont…Read full original article…
02 September, 2017, 5:20 pm