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Discrimination between the scantily clad sexes is now on the docket at a Southern California federal court. A 30-year-old gay man has filed suit against the city of San Diego, accusing its police department of selectively enforcing the city's public nudity law.
The San Diego thong lawsuit arises from an altercation at the city's 2011 LGBT Pride Festival. Officers arrested plaintiff Will Walters for wearing what he describes as a "gladiator type kilt over black underwear."
Walters was first approached by a Lieutenant, who called his outfit "borderline" legal, according to legal filings. He told the officer to leave him alone unless he was going to issue a citation. Soon after, a second cop approached and asked him to leave. He refused to go without an explanation and was removed from the event.
With the help of an attorney, Walters has filed the San Diego thong lawsuit in an attempt to rectify what he sees as a discriminatory situation. Women are allowed to wear G-strings and thongs at public events, reports LA Weekly, but gay men cannot. Such selective enforcement arguably violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and California's laws against sexual orientation discrimination.
Walters also claims his arrest violates his 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures. He "had invested a significant sum of money in his leather gear and took special care to ensure that he was compliant" with the law, according to a letter written by his attorney. His unmentionables were completely covered, which means police had no probable cause to arrest or cite him.
There's no telling how the San Diego thong lawsuit will ultimately turn out, but if you take a look at Walters' outfit, one has to wonder if he wasn't inadvertantly exposing himself as he walked around the parade.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.