Circumcision Ban Makes City Ballot

Ballot measure would make common practice a misdemeanor

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, May 18, 2011  |  Updated 4:09 PM PDT
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The common practice of circumcision would become a crime if ballot measure passes in San Francisco.

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Here's a story that clearly falls in the "only in San Francisco" category: on Wednesday the Department of Elections certified a ballot measure that calls for a ban on male circumcision.

It will appear on the November ballot after the measure received more than enough signatures

The initiative would ban the circumcision of males younger than 18 in city and county of San Francisco. 

If you were caught circumcising a child, it would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail. And there would be no exemptions for religious bounds.

Supporters call circumcision a form of genital mutilation that should not be forced on a baby, child or young adult. For the record, 80-percent of the men in the United States are circumcised, compared to 30-percent of men worldwide.
    
Opponents, and anyone who looks at the proposal logically, would know such a ban would likely not hold up in court. It doesn't even take a high school education to know that such a ban seems to go against First Amendment's guarantee of the freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs.

No matter. It is now on the ballot and will certainly cause everyone from late night talk show hosts to the man on the street in Philly to have a new reason to poke fun of the City in the weeks and months to come.

A similar proposal was attempted in Massachusetts last year, but failed to gain traction.

 The effort is part of a nationwide movement by a group that calls itself "intactivists" to end circumcision of male infants in the United States.

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