News that the city government might limit where nudists put their sweaty, bare butts has been one of those local stories that gives San Francisco a name nationwide.
But for some out-of-town readers, the real news wasn't so much that the city might contemplate putting certain limits on public nudity, but rather that public nudity is legal at all.
"I implore you, as people who work for the good of our society, to ban nudity in San Francisco," wrote Suzy Rice, secretary of the Blue Star Moms of Marin, in a Sept. 16 letter to the Board of Supervisors. "There is no way that this can be construed as a positive development for our children, families, workers, or tourists. In fact, it is one more step towards untenable degeneration of society at all levels."
Local cops don't generally bother with nudists unless they're involved in a sex act, or if somebody fills out a citizen-complaint form. Last weekend, nudists exercised their right to bare butts at a street protest where they objected to a proposal that nudists might have to put down a towel or paper sheet when sitting in public places.
For out-of-town prudes, however, it's not merely public hygiene that's threatened by local nudists.
According to Gail Nittle, who wrote to the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 15:
Recently, my sister brought to my attention something that is happening in San Francisco that is very disturbing. Public nudity. Evidently, the police have been advised not to enforce the public nudity laws. So now, when I come to visit my sister (who lives near San Francisco), I can anticipate a display of nudity with impunity! I'm sad and disappointed that your city has decided to ignore the rules of common decency and consideration for others' sensibilities.
What a shame that families will no longer feel comfortable walking around your beautiful city, especially with their children. I know that now I will not be visiting our city when I come to visit my sister and her family and would certainly not take my grandchildren, as I had planned to do. I'm glad I made trip to San Francisco last year, when I could see all the sites that are so unique to San Francisco without having to worry about encountering an unwelcome display of bare essentials.