Gay Pride attendee speaks out after lawsuit over outfit dismissed

SAN DIEGO - For the first time, a man hauled off to jail over a revealing gay pride outfit is speaking out after a judge tossed out his highly publicized lawsuit.

Will Walters calls the outfit he wore to the 2011 LGBT Pride festival a leather gladiator-style kilt.

A police officer arrested him for public nudity and hauled him off to jail, but no charges were ever filed.

Because Walters never got an apology, he filed a lawsuit. Several years later, he received word of a judge's decision.

"I am still devastated by this decision," said Walters.

Last week, a judge tossed out his lawsuit against LGBT Pride organizers and the city of San Diego. Walters had argued he had been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

"I went to Pride and I was celebrating who I was, but I was punished for it," said Walters.

Court records show that Pride organizers had privately directed police to beef up enforcement of nudity laws in order to make the event more family friendly.

Walters said singling out gay pride to crack down on nudity was discriminatory.

His attorneys submitted photos of other events, like the Over-The-Line tournament.

"What I was wearing was far less revealing than what people at OTL wear, and police never bother them," said Walters.

The argument was apparently not convincing for the judge, who ruled there was no evidence of discrimination.

The judge deemed the officer's actions reasonable because "as Walters' loincloth moved … the wind blew, exposing his buttocks."

Walters, who was also wearing a g-string, disputes that and said the leather material didn't move with the wind.

He called the lawsuit dismissal a surprise and big disappointment.

"I think this was a blow, not just for me, for every American and the Constitution," said Walters.

Walters said the decision grants greater leeway for police to arrest people for nudity and other offenses without much justification.

The San Diego City Attorney's Office didn't respond to 10News' request for comment on Wednesday, but issued this statement from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith last week:

"We applaud SDPD and Pride organizers for doing their best to ensure compliance with the law. This was not a conspiracy, just good planning for a popular event. We are pleased that the court found no evidence to support plaintiff's claims."

Walters plans a news conference next week to announce whether he plans to appeal.

Because of the case, Walters started FreeWillUSA, a nonprofit dedicated to greater awareness of civil rights.

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