San Francisco Bans Naked Dining Amid Hygiene Fears

SAN FRANCISCO -- Widely seen as the most tolerant and liberal city in the U.S., San Francisco is drawing the line at nude public dining.

The city's Board of Supervisors has adopted new rules that ban naked people from eating in restaurants, and forces nudists to place a cover on public chairs and benches before they sit down, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the legislation, said, "We did hear from folks in the neighborhood that these are actually tangible issues that are happening in the Castro and so the legislation is important for that reason."

"I'm not a health expert, but I believe sitting nude in a public place is not sanitary," he said in September when the ordinance was introduced. "Would you want to sit on a seat where someone had been sitting naked? I think most people would say no."

Anyone who disobeys the new code will be fined $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and three-time offenders face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The law was approved in an 11-0 vote with no debate and will face final consideration next week before it can be signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee.

Public nudity is generally tolerated in the city and is particularly popular in the Castro neighborhood.