No circumcisions in SF?

If one man has his way, San Francisco voters will be able to ban circumcision in San Francisco:

His proposed measure would “make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18,”


Under the proposed measure circumcising a boy would result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

Right now it’s a weird little story but, this being San Francisco, I actually don’t see him having that much trouble getting the 7,100 signatures he needs to make it a ballot initiative.

For those of my readers clutching their crotches right now, it’s worth noting that, in addition to being an integral part of the Jewish faith, not to mention a very ordinary American practice, that there is one distinct advantage to circumcision:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, circumcision has been associated with a lower risk for HIV infection in international studies and clinical trials, and serious complications with circumcision are rare.

I recognize that the nature of circumcision is such that the baby has no say in a procedure that affects him for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, I can’t escape the feeling that this is not a matter that should be legislated away, regardless of whether one is pro- or anti-circumcision.

Be Sociable, Share!

    I am sure the use of the [snip] was unintentional ;
    Is there anything in S.F. someone doesn’t want banned. Lloyd Schoenfield, I can only guess is not happy with his own ‘happy meal’ toy.

  • Murray Lawrence

    Wouldn’t it be rich if San Francisco came under a fatwa for banning a time-honored Muslim practice? (To borrow the old Levy advertisement of its Jewish rye bread in New York, circumcision is not just for Jews.) Imagine the left in Frisco being accused, at the very least, of Islamophobia.

  • suek

    I get the distinct feeling that if they could, they’d simply ban children from entering the city limits.
    I have to wonder what the birth rate is, and how it compares to cities of like size…

  • Libby

    Whatever happened to “Keep your laws off my [baby’s] body!!”.
    They’ll be forcing boys to have back-alley brists.
    But, seriously, how many children are left in San Francisco? How many families would choose to settle there, knowing that the locals have taken an unnatural interest in regulating parents?

  • Gringo

    Such a measure could be interpreted as being Islamophobic. Just sayin’.

  • Charles Martel

    Libby, I found one statistic from 2006 that stated that 14.5 percent of San Francisco’s population is age 18 or younger. According to the source, an left-wing advocacy group, that is the lowest percentage among major U.S. cities.

    San Francisco has laways been California’s “oldest” city in terms of its average age, which I think is somewhere around 38 years. (Even though S.F. is also a county, its neighboring county, Marin, ranks as the state’s “oldest.”)

    The town is not a good place for kids. It’s congested, has an abysmal school system, and caters culturally principally to older people. While circumcision in general has been steadily losing favor among gentiles, there is still a fairly large Jewish presence in the city. Although most of the city’s Jews are not observant, there may be enough practicing Jews to loudly resist this measure.

    Murray’s observation is spot on. I would love a ringside seat to watch all the contortions and rationalizations the good burghers of Ess Eff would have to summon to get around Muslim objections to the procedure. 

  • excathedra

    Way back in 1840, in Democracy in America, de Tocqueville wrote:
    A democratic government may cover the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate…The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are continually restrained from acting. Such power does not destroy, but prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes and stupefies people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

  • Mike Devx

    I wish there were a way to write into the Constitution that the government may make law only where it has an overriding, clear and compelling interest.  That otherwise, the rights of the individual are paramount.  In this case, it is the rights of the oarents as parents, and the government simply is not ALLOWED to intrude.
    It shouldn’t matter whether something “is a good idea” or not.  *Of course* the proposed law can be observed to be in support of “a good idea*!  Can you imagine passing a law known to be a bad idea by everyone?!?!
    It’s about nanny-state goodism, and taking our rights to live our lives free of government interference, and making our own choices for our own “good ideas”.