Home inContext San Fran to Ban Infant Circumcision?

San Fran to Ban Infant Circumcision?

Samara Greenberg

San Franciscans may have the opportunity come November to vote on a proposition that would ban infant circumcision. San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield, who is spearheading the movement, has until April 26 to submit 7,168 valid signatures to get the proposition onto November’s ballot, when voters will be choosing San Francisco’s next mayor. “This is a human-rights issue,'” Schofield said.

If voted for in November, the city’s police code would be amended “to 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.” Breaking the law would result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

A sign held by a protester during an anti-circumcision march.

San Francisco-area Jewish organizations have condemned the measure. “For thousands of years, Jews around the world have engaged in this important religious ritual, which is of fundamental importance in the Jewish tradition,” a statement issued by the Jewish groups read. “The organized Jewish community is deeply troubled by this initiative, which would interfere with the rights of parents to make religious decisions for their own families.”

San Francisco is known for its bans. In 2010 alone, the city banned de-clawing cats, smoking in outdoor cafes, and – its most famous yet – toys in kids meals if the meals fail to meet set nutritional guidelines. Talk about walking all over personal freedoms.