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  • Tales of the Red Tape #11: Circumcising Principle in San Francisco

    From the city that has already banned military recruiting, plastic bags, cat declawing, new billboards, ATM fees, citywide phone book delivery, Styrofoam takeout boxes, officials’ travel to Arizona, and fast-food toys, there now comes a ballot measure to outlaw the circumcision of minors. Should the initiative prevail in November, the subject snip would become a crime punishable by a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

    Election officials in Fog City last week verified that “intactivists” collected more than the requisite number of signatures necessary to put the issue to a vote. Whether proponents could have succeeded in a city less fixated on Genital Integrity Rights is an open question.

    Groups such as the National Organization of Restoring Men (previously RECAP) contend that circumcision is equivalent to the barbaric “genital mutilation” of girls practiced predominantly in northeast Africa. Most medical professionals, however, say that such a claim is wildly inaccurate.

    There’s little likelihood that a circumcision ban, if actually approved, could withstand a constitutional challenge. It is, after all, a religious ritual among both Jews and Muslims, among others. But the effort is deeply troubling nonetheless for exposing citizens’ predilection to prevail upon government force to impose their individual preferences on others.

    No doubt many among the 12,000 signatories who petitioned for the ban consider themselves to be open-minded—so open-minded, evidently, their brains have dropped right out.

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    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Tales of the Red Tape #11: Circumcising Principle in San Francisco

    1. West Texan says:

      If San Francisco wants to ban circumcision for their residents, then they need to stop the lobectomies as well. It's only fair.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Whose special interests is San Francisco catering to besides this National Organization of Restoring Men organization with a speculation of an opinion? It's personal/religious choice government infiltrates to eliminate.

      Circumcision is purification. Epidemic of mutilation? Maybe those who propose their personal issues be addressed publically, should expose their own mutilation to the public for sincerity purposes.

      Keep these people pigs out of personal matters of freedom of choice. Surely it has to do with Obamacare and his special interests groups of every kind attempting their destruction of freedom of choice and beliefs. Watch for exemptions…

    3. GavinGOP says:

      San Francisco is pathetic. This can be a religious issue for some of us.

      • Brad says:

        Fine. Only if you agree to overturn the ban on female genital cutting, which made no religious exceptions.

        Oh wait, girls deserve greater protection. I forgot.

        Stupid my and my adherence to the 14th Amendment.

    4. David L says:

      Girls are federally protected from genital mutilation for cultural or religious purposes. Why do boys not deserve the same right to protection from nonconsenual mutilation? That's a violation of equal protection under the law.

    5. David, San Francisco says:

      Circumcision is risky and unnecessary.

      The glans penis is a mucous membrane, supposed to be thin, moist and shiny like the inside of your nose. It is NOT skin, but turns into a dried out scarred crusty desensitized mess when the prepuce is removed (the skin removed is the size of a 3×5 card on an adult man and contains many specialized cells including nerve endings).

      Please view these pictures (warning, graphic content) to see exactly the damage that circumcision causes, compared to a healthy intact penis.

    6. David, San Francisco says:

      Girls have federal protection from genital mutilation for cultural or religious purposes. Why do boys not deserve equal protection under the law? BTW mutilation is defined as the destruction of healthy tissue. That is what circumcision is. Okay for elective surgery, but not for a child who cannot consent. Parents are not giving informed consent either, as they are not informed properly of the risks.

    7. Dan Bollinger says:

      The real issue here isn't religion (that's just the smokescreen) it is sexism. Cutting boys is a human rights violation. These men are not permitted to have a say in how their body looks, works, and feels. This is doubly important because it effects their sexuality, too. We protect girls from harm, and rightly so. The Federal female genital cutting law, which has no religious exemption by the way, prohibits even a pinprick to extract one drop of blood. Male genital cutting–aka circumcision–is certainly worse than that. We’ve come a long way with gender rights; let’s not perpetuate this harmful double standard.

    8. Bobbie says:

      Girls genitalia that is mutilated is punishment! Always has been, always will be! Girls have babies, boys don't! Just a reminder.

      Boys circumcisions are according to religious beliefs and aids in prevention of sickness. 100% different. Any minor child with parents, makes it the parents decision to have their sons circumcised, not government's opinion that it's all of a sudden, mutilation!

      Since they're interfering with religious beliefs they'll deny, all cosmetic surgical places would cease to exist, if they aren't targeting one specific procedure!?

    9. Mike, Elk Grove CA says:

      I've never heard of a man being psychologically damaged as a result of infant circumcision, however with this new out-cry from the mentally ill on the left I'm sure hundreds of law suits are waiting to be unleashed by sicko organizations like NORM.

      Really, to obsess over somebody else's decision on how to raise their children crosses the border of control freak and plants you squarely in crazy town!

    10. Barbara says:

      Amazing what words do to reframe the argument: purification to mutilation?? Why doesn't the state stay out of religious matters and vice versa.

    11. Pingback: As Obama Visits Europe, He Has Something to Apologize For | The Foundry

    12. Marianne, KS says:

      Circumcision is genital mutaliation, but gender "reassigment" is somehow acceptable? How is the removal of a small piece of skin suddenly an abomination but total removal of the testes and fashioning a vagina out of scrodal tissue seen as viable? Really. I want to know. And how does the city of San Fransico have the audacity to legislate this? Unbelieveable……

    13. Robert, California says:

      If a doctor pierced a boy's penis, he or she would spend time in jail even if the parents requested it for religious reasons. Male circumcision is a more severe form of permanent body modification than genital piercing.

      Male circumcision should be a "personal" choice, not a "parental" choice. It should be the decision of the person whose is having a normal part of his penis cut off.

    14. West Texan says:

      Circumcision is not a moral or religious matter anymore than STDs are. It's a health matter. Adult circumcisions often becomes necessary for difficult infections and/or foreskin strictures. It's a painful and unsightly procedure for an adult. For the infant it’s a small amount of easily removed tissue ensuring a future free of the aforementioned problems. For uncircumcised males who haven’t experienced such issues, consider yourselves lucky.

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    16. Tydomin, United King says:

      This article makes no mention of the 300 babies who die in the USA every year due to a botched circumcision. It also fails to mention that all so-called medical reasons for circumcision have now been disproved, and the fact that circumcision causes lifelong health, psychological and sexual problems. Circumcision is catastrophically painful for the baby – anyone who has seen it done and heard the screams of agony will not forget it in a hurry. Also, neonatal circumcision is totally incomparable to cosmetic surgery and anything else like that, because it is done to an unconsenting minor. Circumcision also violates the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the rights of the Child. Furthermore, it cannot be condoned to religious reasons, because the deaths it causes violate the sacred Jewish tenet of pikuach nefesh or 'the saving of life'. The ensuing sexual dysfunction also conflicts with a Jewish man's 'onah'. Similarly with Islam, the Qur'an 27:88 says 'the work of Allah who has perfected everything he created' – it must include the human body by definition, so any muslim who circumcises their baby is blaspheming against Allah.

      All in all, an irresponsible, biased, unconsidered and unscientific article.

    17. Bobbie says:

      Tydomin, I'm sorry you have your own personal downfalls regarding your false claims of death caused by (botched) circumcision that wasn't news worthy? Go after the doctor not the procedure/ Don't stereotype.

      This isn't a violent procedure under private practice like the abortion (mutilation) of a human life under government practice. Where psychological, emotional, sexual effects do bear witness with more government programs to make em' all better.

      My sons are alive and healthy and never complained. Maybe it's a part of being a man you can't live up to? Keep it in the family and sue your own parents,

    18. Bobbie says:

      Okay, I apologize and I stand corrected, but it's still a private matter.

    19. Bobbie says:

      I was being facetious. Circumcision is not intentionally harmful to the male gender and has health benefits. Sue the doctor, not your parents. Female genital mutilation is a disgusting comparison that only the demented or evil would suggest.

    20. Brad says:

      Circumcision is a violation of an individual's right to genital integrity. Unnecessary surgery on a child, especially the genitals of a child is clearly unethical.

      Holding a child down and tearing apart their genitals is literally violent disfiguring child rape.

      Many forms of female genital cutting are less severe than male genital mutilation, aka circumcision.

      If the Heritage Foundation actually supported individual liberty is would support a ban on all medically unnecessary genital cutting of children, as it is a violation of the liberties of the child. Not only this, the female genital mutilation ban bans any cutting whatsoever of a girl's genitals. Even a pin prick is banned, yet that is certainly nowhere near as severe as the literal amputation boys are subjected to. In light of that fact, the ban on FGM is actually unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, because it denies men equal protection from unnecessary genital cutting.

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