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An Oregon man was arrested Thursday after he broke into a Portland home, stripped naked, crawled into bed with the couple who live there and kissed the man — who turned out to have a gun — police said. An incident report says Defeudis broke into the home about a. ET Thursday and began gathering items of value. He then removed all of his clothes and climbed into bed with the unidentified man and woman who live there — and for some reason kissed the man, it says. The man woke up to find the burglar sitting on top of him, holding a knife, police said.
Civil liberties campaigners are preparing to legally fight San Francisco's ban on public nudity. Does the US Constitution guarantee the right to walk the streets naked? No sooner had San Francisco's lawmakers voted to ban nakedness in public places than a lawsuit was filed.
It argued that the free speech of nudists was being restricted.
It's a dispute that typifies the famously liberal city, but it also reveals much about the importance of freedom of expression to Americans. Opponents of the move say that, by limiting the ability to express themselves, the law violates their rights.
They cite the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which forbids the government from "abridging the freedom of speech". But legal experts say court rulings suggest that being nude does not, in itself, constitute an act of expression. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted in favour of banning anyone over five from exposing "his or her genitals, perineum or anal region" in most public locations.
It came after a growing of naked men gathered regularly in a plaza in in the city's Castro district, an area well known for its large gay community. Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, which promotes the study of free-speech issues, says he does not believe the legal bid on behalf of the Castro nudes is likely to succeed.
But while the Supreme Court has been consistent that nudity is not in itself a form of expression, that does not mean that nudity cannot be expressive. It's possible that the nudists could argue their nakedness was a political act.
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The Supreme Court has, in fact, held that nude dancing, as practiced in strip clubs, is a form of free speech, Schauer says. However, it ruled that establishments which offer displays of erotic dancing can be regulated.
As long as the regulations are intended to deal with the side effects of such establishments - if they are causing a rise in crime, for instance - it is legal to impose a public nudity ban.
It was a principle established in law in the case Erie v Pap's AM, which set a Pennsylvania city council against a nude dancing establishment. Of course, strip bars operate indoors, on private property, while San Francisco's nudists express themselves in full view of the public. San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener, one of the lawmakers who passed the nudity ban, said it was "appropriate to have some minimal standards of behaviour" in the city and "our public spaces are for everyone". According to law professor Adler, case law suggests the city was acting within its rights.
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But all may not be lost for the naked men of the Castro. One option open to them would be to move somewhere such as Oregon, where public nudity is legal so long as there is no "intent to arouse". You can follow the Magazine on Twitter and on Facebook.