Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Public nudity at pride events

Billy GloverSeptember 26, 2013.

In regards to the story about the man, Will Walters, who was arrested for public nudity at gay pride San Diego in 2011…

There are two issues here, the first being is nudity legal—an issue San Francisco is having to deal with.

The second, I am confused about. Is he saying the sponsors of the Pride event had him arrested? If so, he is wrong—people in control and having responsibility for an event have a duty, morally, and legally, to control it, and they have a right to decide who and what is included in the event. If they said no nudity, and he tried to skirt the rule, he is wrong.

He has no right to harm an event for others just to satisfy his ego. Let him plan his own event.


About The Author


  1. Leo E. Laurence, J.D.

    I’m glad he is fighting this. There is a serious First Amendment issue here. The Pride event people were wrong, and perhaps too puritan.

  2. Billy Glover

    I have not seen a discussion/coverage of this in a San Diego paper, so am not sure of the circumstances, or why he is suing the Pride group. But if the issue is strictly nudism in public, I am not sure how to think of it, and it will be interesting to see how this develops.I did go to one nudist event in CA (with Melvin, at a camp I think was owned by Union Oil, and forget the name of the man who sponsored the event. I also have been to Hillside Campground in NE PA, with Melvin and Peter.)I do think some people—I just saw on some TV show how stupid some older, overweight women (why not men?) look in Wal-Mart, so it is in the eye of the beholder which is more unpleasant, ugly nudists or ugly clothed (or half-clothed) peopleI do stand by my view that if a person or organization is in control, legally and morally, of an event, they/it have the right and duty to control what is done under their banner. Let the man and supporters put on their own parade or event, then they can decide what people wear and what signs they hold, etc.This is not a glbt issue, of course. But probably is a sexuality issue, coming from religious sources more than health issues.A personal point: If I were king I would ban tanning businesses, as it IS a health issue which too often taxpayers are having to pay for.

  3. Billy Glover

    Thanks for sending the link to the good article covering the issue. I still feel that this makes it clear—unless there was secret collusion between SanDiego Pride and the police—that there are two issues. If the city has a law/rule, then was the arrest not a SD Pride issue? If the rule was SD Pride’s, and not necessarily connected to the city rules, then I think they had a right to have such a rule, but it had to be public knowledge.I had not thought of the issue, in the city’s part, of unequal enforcement of the law—if there is such a possibility.It is totally irrelevant, but I do wonder, as he claims, what the complainant had done in and for the community. Was he known to have such an interest—if it is nudity—and if so he could have been warned prior to the event. If he is active in the movement/community, he should know that, regardless of whether he feels we are going too mainstream, that the majority of people want the event to be family friendly. As an old member of the movement, I must admit that was not a concern in the early days-few openly glbt people had children, etc. Marriage was a secondary issue, legally and personally. Now it is a big issue and lgbt parents have to be able to be active, and that means their children. It is not a case of seeking public/hetero approval, but of our own community including all elements/segments.The HIC representative to the first Christopher Street West event, Joe Hansen, famous gay mystery writer, was a father of a child, ironically who is now a ftm trans, and the mother, Jane Hansen taught in a school, so they were hetero parents, but both were homosexual and active in the cause, which others, such as Truman Capote were not, so that should have been a clue to what was coming after we got the basic rights-end of sodomy laws, etc..

  4. Leo E. Laurence, J.D.

    There’s a lot of California case law that goes back to the late ’60s on situations like this, and the First Amendment always won!I’d like to help the young man. if he will call me.

  5. Billy Glover

    Is the media discussing it, maybe he will want to hear from others. It will be interesting—I of course do not know the legal details. I have no feelings about public nudity. I do worry about an organization not being able to control its events.

  6. Victory Salvo

    I have no patience for this “problem” that seems a peculiarity to San Francisco. To me public nudity is a health matter and the state is right to regulate it and not allow it at open events. There are too many diseases and parasites transmitted via the rectum that I see no reason why health laws should not discourage a naked butt from sitting in a restaurant booth, swing set seat, bus, subway, etc. I have no problem with this. Call me a prude, I don’t care. It’s kind of disgusting.

  7. Billy Glover

    Public, as you describe, it is a valid problem-Paul Cain, et al would say in private, campgrounds, etc, where people know that it exists, is different. But, as I said, the man “used” the Pride people and apparently defied their rule against it.We thought of this issue for instance in planning the Motorcade. IF someone had come up and joined, or tried to join the parade of cars and had signs about some other issue, we would have had a duty to stop their misuse of our project.

Comments are closed.