By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 05 2012 3:36 PM ET
In a 6-5 vote on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a ban on public nudity on city streets, sidewalks, restaurants, public transit, and in other public spaces, reports CBS News. Certain festivals, including Gay Pride and the Folsom Street Fair, are exempt from the ban, which now heads to Mayor Ed Lee, who is expected to sign it.
Several activists protested the Supervisors' decision by stripping naked before the Board inside City Hall, and shouting chants like "Body freedom" and "Shame on you!" The nudists were quickly covered by guards carrying blankets, and escorted out of the chamber as the Board took a brief recess.
Supervisor Scott Weiner said he authored and introduced the legislation in response to complaints by constituents about a group of naked men strolling through the city's historically gay Castro District on a daily basis.
"I stand by this legislation," Weiner told ABCNews. "And I'm happy to see it passed and move on to other things."
Those opposed to the bill say it infringes on First Amendment freedoms and indoctrinates shame into San Francisco's traditionally tolerant culture. Attorney Christina DiEdoardo, who represents a group of nudists suing to challenge the ban, said the law was unnecessary.
"Now the city is going to have spend considerable time and money to defend an ordinance that didn't have to be passed," DiEdoardo told Reuters.