A federal judge appears ready to allow San Francisco’s public nudity ban to go into effect.

Lawmakers in San Francisco narrowly approved the ban after complaints regarding the city’s famous gay Castro district in November of last year.

Those who break the ban could face $100 (£62) fines or a year in jail for repeat offenders.

Public nudity activists filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate the new law, which is due to come into force on 1 February.

The Associated Press reports they argue that the government-ordered cover up violates their First Amendment right to express their political views.

But US District Court Judge Edward Chen said on Thursday that it takes more than simply disrobing in public to make a political statement.

The judge failed to rule on the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit nor the activists’ request to block the law until the suit is resolved.

Judge Chen said he would issue a written ruling on the competing requests before the end of the month.