Nude Activists Settle Suit Against City of San Francisco

Nude Activists Settle Suit Against City of San Francisco
Rhett Pardon

SAN FRANCISCO — The City of San Francisco and two of its most famous nude activists, Gypsy Taub and George Davis, formally settled a suit stemming from the San Francisco Police Department’s denial of a parade permit for a “nude-in” parade.

SFPD denied the parade permit application on the grounds that the 50 to 100 nude activists expected for the event was not large enough to warrant a parade permit.

Nevertheless, the parade took place before San Francisco’s famous Folsom Street Fair after a federal judge issued an emergency opinion the day before the event.

In the case, the activists’ First Amendment lawyers, D. Gill Sperlein and Lawrence Walters, argued that it would be unconstitutional to allow the SFPD to require a minimum number of people since the permitting ordinance contained no such limitation.

As a result of the settlement, the City of San Francisco agreed to pay $15,000 in attorneys fees, Walters told XBIZ.  

Walters said, “The court obviously recognized that the SFPD’s actions were designed to frustrate our clients’ rights to free expression. Fortunately in this case, justice prevailed and government censorship lost.”

“Seeing the futility of defending the case further, the city quickly settled agreeing to reimburse the activists for their attorneys fees,” he said.

Sperlein said, “It is always incredibly satisfying to win a case when the win strengthens the First Amendment, and this case certainly falls in that category. I could not be more thrilled.”

Walters and Sperlein noted the stipulation filed today does not affect ongoing litigation in which Taub and Davis have challenged the way the city has enforced its nudity regulations.

That case is currently on appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

View September order granting preliminary relief