In the city of San Francisco, California, public nudity during parades and events was a common sight and for the ultra-liberal city, this type of public nudity has been allowed. It seems, however, that some public nudity has gotten too blatant and the city has now put a new ordinance into law banning public nudity.
Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge of Santa Clara, California believes that this new ordinance is not a violation of free speech, which suggests that you're performing art, participating in a protest or are involved in a process where one is expressing themselves. Additionally, he says that this new ordinance is not indecent exposure, which requires that one is doing something with a sexual intent, vs. just sitting or standing there naked, which, in of itself, is not indecent exposure.
According to Hyman, this ordinance is a peace disturbance kind of ordinance. In his view, San Francisco has reacted properly in that in some communities, it would be the possibility of jail first time out but San Francisco has said fines for the first two offenses and then only after the third, you have the possibility of receiving a correctional or custodial sentence. A lot of people don't realize that violations of local ordinances are criminal and punitive in nature, says Hyman and that depending upon the ordinance, it can involved possible incarceration.
San Francisco has decided that public nudity is not a good thing, with concerns about public safety, public health and public peace and therefore, has enacted this ordinance. "People will be appealing this based on free speech but I don't think it will win," says Hyman.
Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network.