Circumcision Ban to Appear on San Francisco Ballot

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    May 19, 2011 11:35 PM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576331672328164768.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO—A group seeking to ban the circumcision of male children in San Francisco has succeeded in getting their controversial measure on the November ballot, meaning voters will be asked to weigh in on what until now has been a private family matter.

    City elections officials confirmed Wednesday that the initiative had received enough signatures to appear on the ballot, getting more than 7,700 valid signatures from city residents. Initiatives must receive at least 7,168 signatures to qualify.

    If the measure passes, circumcision would be prohibited among males under the age of 18. The practice would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions.

    The initiative appears to be the first of its kind in the country to actually make it to this stage, though a larger national debate over the health benefits of circumcision has been going on for many years. Banning circumcision would almost certainly prompt a flurry of legal challenges alleging violations of the First Amendment's guarantee of the freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs.

    Supporters of the ban say male circumcision is a form of genital mutilation that is unnecessary, extremely painful and even dangerous. They say parents should not be able to force the decision on their young child.

    "Parents are really guardians, and guardians have to do what's in the best interest of the child. It's his body. It's his choice," said Lloyd Schofield, the measure's lead proponent and a longtime San Francisco resident, who said the cutting away of the foreskin from the penis is a more invasive medical procedure than many new parents or childless individuals realize.

    But opponents say such claims are alarmingly misleading, and call the proposal a clear violation of constitutionally protected religious freedoms.

    "For a city that's renowned for being progressive and open-minded, to even have to consider such an intolerant proposition ... it sets a dangerous precedent for all cities and states," said Rabbi Gil Yosef Leeds of Berkeley. Rabbi Leeds is a certified "mohel," the person who traditionally performs ritual circumcisions in the Jewish faith.

    He said he receives phone calls every day from members of the local Jewish community who are concerned about the proposed ban. But he said he is relatively confident that even if the measure is approved, it will be abruptly—and indefinitely—tied up in litigation.

    The initiative's backers say its progress is the biggest success story to date in a decades-old, nationwide movement by so-called "intactivists" to end circumcision of male infants in the U.S. A similar effort to introduce a circumcision ban in the Massachusetts Legislature last year failed to gain traction.

    "It's been kind of under the radar until now, but it was a conversation that needed to happen," Mr. Schofield said of the debate over male circumcision. "We've tapped into a spark with our measure—something that's been going on for a long time."

    International health organizations have promoted circumcision as an important strategy for reducing the spread of the AIDS virus. That's based on studies that showed it can prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa.

    But there hasn't been the same kind of push for circumcision in the U.S., in part because nearly 80% of American men are already circumcised, a much higher proportion than the worldwide average of 30%. Also, HIV spreads mainly among gay men in the U.S., and research indicates circumcision doesn't protect gay men from HIV.

    For years, federal health officials have been working on recommendations regarding circumcision. The effort was sparked by studies that found circumcision is partially effective in preventing the virus' spread between women and men. The recommendations are still being developed, and there is no date set for their release, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The CDC doesn't have a position on the San Francisco proposal, said the spokeswoman, Elizabeth-Ann Chandler.
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    May 19, 2011 11:36 PM GMT
    It will likely not pass.............
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 19, 2011 11:42 PM GMT
    Genital mutilation should be stoped! Not but..........
  • Jayjames

    Posts: 321

    May 20, 2011 2:32 AM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidGenital mutilation should be stoped! Not but..........




    Agree
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    Direct democracy in action—which is why California can't balance its budget.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2011 3:30 AM GMT
    SMEGMA FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!























    I kid, I kid.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2011 4:37 AM GMT
    One more thing to inspect at the border checkpoints. icon_rolleyes.gif

    You know that's why.
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    May 20, 2011 6:55 AM GMT
    Another reason why I hate San Francisco...
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    May 20, 2011 10:52 AM GMT
    A ban on circumcision without religious exceptions is not a reasonable measure to put on the ballot, in my opinion. it will never pass.

    People will argue the "health benefits" of circumcision until doomsday, which may be tomorrow according to some. Many people will continue to argue the advantages of an intact penis; some of those arguments are logical to me.

    A ballot measure is not the right way to approach the issue, indeed even if it should be approached to the public in this way at all. In my opinion education is more important. When I was an infant in the U.S. popular belief was that it was more hygenic for your son to be circumcised. Many of these beliefs continue to exist today but clearly there are many men with perfectly healthy uncircumcised penises out there. Given the choice with what I know today I would probably choose not to be circumcised but I didn't have much of a choice when I was only a few days old. So, I'm content to live with my parents' decision.

    This ballot measure seems to be proposing the opression of religious freedom. In fact, making something that is essential to some religions a criminal offense. This proposal is a waste of time, money and energy.....in my humble opinion.
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    May 20, 2011 11:00 AM GMT
    It shouldn't be up to the voters about circumcision the same way it should not be up to the voters about abortion. It should always be between the people and their doctors.

    I am circumcised and don't mind it one bit.
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    May 20, 2011 11:04 AM GMT
    pecfan saidIt shouldn't be up to the voters about circumcision the same way it should not be up to the voters about abortion. It should always be between the people and their doctors.

    I am circumcised and don't mind it one bit.


    I am going to channel my inner black woman and go "mhmmm preach it sister!"
    icon_smile.gif
    xx
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    May 20, 2011 1:53 PM GMT
    This kind of thing gives liberalism a bad name
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    May 20, 2011 3:40 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidOne other thing.... This was discussed in great detail a few weeks ago here:

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1523965/

    I missed that thread, otherwise I would have added instead starting a new one. The last message there was 3 days before I started this thread, which in this folder is many pages downstream.
  • Mepark

    Posts: 806

    May 20, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    "It's his body. It's his choice"

    Oh God! No it's not. It's a baby! "as long as you're living under my roof...."
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    May 20, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    Wow, local governments sure do have a lot of extra time on their hands to waste...
  • Timbales

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    May 20, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    I don't really care one way or another, I don't live there, I'm not having children there and it doesn't really have an impact on my life.
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    May 20, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
    antelope saidThis kind of thing gives liberalism a bad name


    Are you absolutely insane, illiterate or merely supremely disingenuous? How on earth can this be described as "liberal"?

    Are you completely unaware of the definition of the word?
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    May 20, 2011 4:23 PM GMT
    If they want to stop it they should just make a bunch of hate commercials, it worked on tha smokers, and now secondhand smoke, i dont smoke, but hate the fact a smoker is now hated more than a pedophile, just buy some airtime
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    May 20, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    libra1005 saidA ban on circumcision without religious exceptions is not a reasonable measure to put on the ballot, in my opinion. it will never pass


    Circumcision due to religious beliefs is one of the main reasons why it should be banned. Doctor's shouldn't be allowed to cut off part of a kids penis because it's the religious beliefs of the parent's to do so.. It's not allowed for girls it shouldn't be allowed for boys.

    This ballot measure seems to be proposing the opression of religious freedom. In fact, making something that is essential to some religions a criminal offense. This proposal is a waste of time, money and energy.....in my humble opinion.

    It's illegal to do to girls despite religious belief. Circumcising someone against their will for religious reasons is religious oppression. It shouldn't be allowed.
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    May 20, 2011 7:07 PM GMT
    I agree as well genital circumcision/mutilation is awful. I think it is horrible that circumcision is performed on children. I understand body modification as an adult, one can do whatever they want. But being forced to alter your body against your will is awful. There have been so many reason people have stated to perform circumcision; rite of passage into adult hood, mental illness, stop masturbation and now health concerns. But in time all of these reasons have been disproved.
    The largest push, at least in the US has been; circumcision for profit, it is a multimillion dollar industry, from simple money maker of hospital as well as the youth skin is sold to cosmetic companies as well as used for skin grafts for burn victims. Thus our parents are still pushed/lead to have it performed on kids for, religious, cultural and health reasons.
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    May 20, 2011 8:06 PM GMT
    This is probably the only ballot initiative I could agree with proposed by those crazy folks in San Francisco.Circumcision should not be a choice given to parents.If a man wants to be circumsized he should have a choice after age 18.I wish I was UC like my hot BF.I am sorta semi cut.icon_smile.gif
  • biguynatick

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    May 20, 2011 8:44 PM GMT
    I am going to move to SF about 18 years after this passes, just thinking about all the hot young uncut cock then!
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    May 20, 2011 9:37 PM GMT
    I think a more reasonable bill would have been to ban hospitals from performing the procedure automatically, without the written permission of a parent or guardian. A form could be devised that explained the pro and cons, the medical risks, and an informed decision could be made.

    When my oldest son was born in an Army hospital I made sure to inform the obstetrician I didn't want it done, having discussed it with my wife long beforehand. I was told it was automatic, what they always did. I asked was it mandatory? No, just automatic. Slim difference, but if it wasn't mandatory, I asked, could I block it? Yes, they said, but for that they DID have a form for me to sign.

    When my second son was later born at a university medical center hospital, they did have a consent form. But gave me a difficult time about not wanting to sign it and approve the circumcision.

    When I was growing up I remember a classmate who had a badly mangled penis from a botched circumcision. It made him shy around the other boys, wouldn't go skinny-dipping with us, did the towel dance in the locker room, tried to avoid taking the mandatory showers. He told us this himself, and how he was even more shy with girls as we grew older. I did glance at it a few times, and it really was a mess.

    I've also seen guys who had ragged, incomplete circumcisions that weren't too pretty, either, the owner embarrassed about it. I believe that Nature knew best when it gave men one. We need to think twice before snipping something off us, deciding on a case-by-case basis for specific medical necessities. Seems like the rest of humanity gets by quite well having them.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    May 21, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI think a more reasonable bill would have been to ban hospitals from performing the procedure automatically, without the written permission of a parent or guardian. A form could be devised that explained the pro and cons, the medical risks, and an informed decision could be made.


    I think it should be banned just as it is for girls. I don't see how a parent has any right in the matter outside of an actual need like to address an actual medical problem.

    I mean really when you think about it how can any rational thinking person agree that a parent has such a right? It's not their body. It's so simple. A person should be able to decide it for themselves. Again, it's not allowed to be done in ANY form to girls. So should it be the same for boys.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    May 21, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidA city banning circumcision, that is just dumb.
    As a city aren't there more important things to worry about?


    I think they are doing it to make a statement and raise awareness about it.