SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Four protesters were arrested entirely in the buff as they took to the steps of San Francisco City Hall in a brazen challenge of the city's ban on public nudity on Friday, the first day it went into effect.
One woman and three men — one wearing just a mesh thong — were taken into custody as about a dozen other protesters in various states of undress paraded around with painted slogans on their bodies, holding up signs with messages such as "The Human Body is Beautiful."
Police gave them a 15-minute warning to disperse or put pants on before officers arrested those who failed to cover themselves. The protesters said their arrest would advance the cause of "body freedom."
"No matter what, we're going to continue practicing body freedom," said Gypsy Taub, a mother of two who hosts a local cable program devoted to the nudist cause. "In a society that's repressed and crazy, that glorifies war and at the same time criminalizes the human body ... nudity is a political statement."
In December, the Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 in favor of the ordinance, which prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that nudity was not protected free speech and upheld San Francisco's ban on most displays of public nudity.