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A few minutes after noon Thursday, Gypsy Taub stepped through the gilded doors of San Francisco City Hall like any other nervous bride in her gown and veil. Her intent was to be married naked on the steps and a phalanx of uniformed sheriff's deputies stood to her side like groomsmen. Right away, Taub noticed a hitch in her plan. The band was late, and that was her greatest expense. She was not going to start without them so she grabbed a bullhorn and turned the gathering into a political rally for the cause of freedom, while straying into topics of wars, stolen elections and reincarnation.
I know that the people of San Francisco are behind me.
The wedding was the culmination of a yearlong assault on the city's ban on public nudity, as led by Taub, a former stripper turned activist. Political s had been stuffed into orange cones on the steps, like flowers in the pews.
Most of them took aim at the unfortunate namephreakism of Supervisor Scott Wienerwho had pushed for the nudity ban. Taub tried to persuade the people on the steps to each pick up abut they were all too busy holding cameras. The threat of a preemptive arrest hung in the air, and nobody wanted to miss it, including the official wedding photographer, the bride's year-old daughter, Inti Gonzalez. The groom, Jaymz Smith20, appeared in a thrift store tuxedo to offset the white worn by Taub, It was the first time Smith had ever worn a tux, and he couldn't figure out how to behave in it.
So he kissed the bride before the vows, a faux pas if there ever was one. Somebody snapped a picture so he kissed her again, and kept doing it until Taub broke free to yell, "Has anybody seen a mariachi band? It took another 10 minutes for them to gather up their instruments and walk all the way around the building. The groom dropped his shoes, his socks and his tux and the bride dropped her gown, and they both stood there on the cold granite steps, naked before their God, who appeared in the name of nudity activist George Davisan ordained minister of the Universal Life Church.
At this point the wedding moved from the City Hall steps, which are under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimito the sidewalk, which is the jurisdiction of the San Francisco police - generally considered less enthusiastic about public nudity in general and the antics of Gypsy Taub in specific.
The first dance was between the bride and groom. Taub would have loved a second dance with Mayor Ed Leebut he had reportedly changed his schedule in order to be elsewhere, as had the vilified Supervisor Wiener. To open up the floor, the bride invited the nude activists in the crowd to get in there and dance with them.
Being naked is one thing. Dancing naked is something else, and most seemed uneager until Taub went out into the crowd and dragged them in one by one, starting with the now-disrobed minister Davis. Nobody is being hurt. Nobody is being damaged.
A few still-clothed brides and grooms came down the steps and saw the pile of wedding clothes and figured out what was going on. Mothers arrived with daughters dressed in velvet en route to see the matinee of "Nutcracker" at the Opera Houseand steered wide of the wedding party.
At the end of a long slow dance, the cops finally moved in on three sides. An officer entered the circle to issue a five-minute warning while Taub tried to goad him into looking at her and answering her question as to exactly what it was she was doing wrong.
One last dance and a police van pulled up Polk Street. Out came the same kind of blankets that Taub has collected in her yearlong assault on the public nudity ban in San Francisco. The bride and groom were pulled apart and blanketed over and taken to separate cages in the van, to be cited. One officer gathered the wedding clothes into a clear plastic bag.
Another officer informed Taub she would be taken to the station. A few people glanced behind the police van to see if anyone had tied a bunch of cans to the bumper, or soaped up the window with a "Just Married". As her mother sat in the van, draped in blue, official photographer Inti tried to get a shot for the wedding album, but she was screened off by officers. After a cooldown period, Taub was issued a citation and released provided that she put the gown back on.
She did, while keeping it down around her waist for more dancing. The bouquet was still to be tossed. Sam Whiting is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: swhiting sfchronicle.San Francisco married women nude and i am working
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S.F. couple pulls off their nude wedding