How much does it cost to put your crown jewels on public display in San Francisco these days? About $200 bucks in fines and court fees. In yesterday's trial, three of San Francisco's most visible nudists were each fined for disrobing on February 1st — the first day Scott Wiener's infamous nudity ban went into effect.
Russel "Trey" Allen, Oxane "Gyspy" Taub and George Davis were all arrested and cited for the indecency after they stripped down to protest Wiener's ordinance on the steps of City Hall one Friday in February. Their attorney Christine DiEdoardo attempted to have the case thrown out on the basis that SFPD did not have the right to arrest the nude trio for a simple citation. The traffic court judge presiding over the case didn't buy it and found all three guilty, slapping them each with a $100 fine and $92 in court fees.
Had the trio been naked at, say, this year's Bay to Breakers event they could have remained in the buff unmolested by police as part of an exception to the ordinance that allows for nudity at certain special events. DiEdoardo has previously argued that this amounts to selective enforcement and discrimination against her clients.
To help pay for their nude crusade and DiEdoardo's billing hours, the three have raised about $6,000 for their legal defense fund. While they plan to appeal yesterday's ruling on the citations, the group is also hoping to have the ordinance overturned completely because they say it limits their right to free speech. A federal judge has already ruled that nudity in and of itself is not free speech, but they will have another chance to lay bare their case next month.