SF to vote on male circumcision in November
May 18th, 2011
05:33 PM ET

SF to vote on male circumcision in November

San Francisco voters will  decide whether to ban male circumcision in the November 8 municipal election.

Activists gathered enough signatures to put a proposal on the ballot, the city's election board confirmed Wednesday.

The measure  aims to prohibit all male circumcisions in San Francisco. Led by Lloyd Schofield who is part of a Bay Area “intactivist” group, the advocates want to eliminate the  surgery and liken it to  "male genital mutilation."

Schofield and the "intactivists" seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco.  Under the proposal, a person who violates the proposed ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000). Exemptions for religious reasons would not be allowed.

Column: Circumcising our son– how do we decide?

The measure faces huge hurdles: Legal, religious opposition and varying public opinion.  It has brought up some interesting discussions about why we circumcise and whether there are any sound medical benefits.

Empowered Patient: Should teens make their own circumcision decision?

“We hope to get a greater outreach to the people in the city,” Schofield said Wednesday during a celebratory lunch.  He said the activists would step up efforts to talk about the issue with residents.  “We are willing and happy to talk to people who want a respectful conversation. We’re excited to do it.”

soundoff (752 Responses)
  1. DeeCee2011

    Really? Are you kidding me? THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! It is NOT genital mutilation; there are medical and regligious reasons for this. Whomever is behind this has WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS, as well as bring great discredit upon San Francisco and a lot of movements. Agghhhh!!!!!

    May 18, 2011 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob The Builder

      The religious reasons are 100% crap, without question. But that is because so are religions. Name some medical reasons.

      May 18, 2011 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
  2. Sofia Auctor

    Really? I have no issue with it... And it is easy hygiene. Why should you care?

    May 18, 2011 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fuyuko

      It should be the person whose being cut's choice. No one else's.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
    • MalibuChick

      I would think that people would want it when they cannot remember it.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:56 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      So genital mutilation of children is ok with you Sofia. I suppose if it were female mutilation you'd think differently. Personally I think anyone that does that to a child should be sent to prison, period. Forget the fines, they're meaningless for this type of crime.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • Jerrod

      That whole state is goofy.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:46 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      @ Lee. Congratulations for turning Sofia's question into your own trollings. Bravo, idiot.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:46 | Report abuse |
    • Geoff


      Watch this bill fail by 90%

      May 19, 2011 at 02:07 | Report abuse |
    • Sam Stone

      I'm Jewish and, of course, cut. I don't remember the procedure since it was done when I was an infant, but I'm glad it was done for personal hygiene reasons alone. But the chance that this ridiculous law–with no exceptions for religion–passes the Supreme Court test is absolutely nil. So the whole point of this exercise will be to cost SF money to put it on the ballot, and more to try to defend it in court.

      May 19, 2011 at 02:43 | Report abuse |
  3. Mitch

    Some believe it takes a village. Well, the village idiots can stay out of my business.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sol Diablo

      Amen... 🙂

      May 18, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      How about sticking to the story??? HS – You guys make a mountain out of a mole hill.
      HEY SF, you guys are so ****** nuts. oops...
      Leave people alone...This is ****ish. America the free my A**. Keep your socialist beliefs to yourselves.
      Actually, that goes for you ultra religious political conservatives too...FREEDOM – MEANS LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:32 | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Hey Mitch, I was trying to reply to the article not you...my bad.
      However, I agree you with.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      Amen Mitch!

      May 19, 2011 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
  4. AlienShark

    The boys in San Fransisco like penis just the way it comes out.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      I know I sure do.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
  5. good grief

    You're kidding me right? This is another example of the kind of nonsense that assures me I make the correct decision to leave San Francisco ten years ago.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brian

      If it is the will of the people to vote on such a trifle who are we to criticize? The voice of the people is the voice of God.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:48 | Report abuse |
  6. Aaron

    I wonder how they feel about outlawing ear piercings in children too. If they don't think it's a problem, then their beef isn't really with child "mutilation".

    May 18, 2011 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      SF is a city....

      May 19, 2011 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • Fuyuko

      ear piercing is also wrong, but at least the ear holes grow shut if you remove the rings.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  7. trace

    Just wondering ... is there anything in this silly proposed law that would prevent parents taking their newborns to hospitals outside San Francisco to have the procedure done?

    May 18, 2011 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Amber

    Only in San Francisco will you find idiots who have the time to worry about my son's penis....

    May 18, 2011 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Callmeishmael

      Most of us in San Francisco didn't even know this was on the ballot before anyone else did. It's true, we have some goofballs in this city, and they're the ones who typically take the news. But they're preferable to the uneducated, illiterate teabagging idiots like yourself who populate the majority of America. Please, do us a favor and stay where you are.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:19 | Report abuse |
    • Callmeishmael

      *make the news

      May 19, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse |
    • Callmeishmael

      Not that you could afford to live here anyway, thankfully.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:21 | Report abuse |
    • Snowju

      Callmeishmael: u mad bro?

      May 19, 2011 at 01:27 | Report abuse |
    • Brady

      Is she the uneducated one, or is it you? I'm guessing that she knew that there are poor people in San Francisco 🙂

      May 19, 2011 at 02:31 | Report abuse |
    • AE

      Just in SF... well, while the people who propose this law are probably idiots, this kind of stupidity exists in all states. It wasn't until 9 years ago that adult males got to decide to do what they wanted to with their penises in all states (16 still had laws making sodomy a crime). Many states still have laws that prohibit what people can and cannot do with their own parts by themselves or with consenting adults. At least this rule has children involved making it a bit more rational. Not rational enough to be even the same ballpark as reasonable or sane, but more rational that the laws on the books of many states.

      May 19, 2011 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
  9. marvin

    if God wanted males to have foreskin he would have put it there. Oh wait, he did.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sol Diablo

      God also gave us tails; thankfully we evolved. <

      May 19, 2011 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • JesusCrust

      For God to have put it there, you would have to assume he exists.. but he most likely doesn't

      May 19, 2011 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • Mason Myatt

      In a similar vein, it might be worth considering what the hell kind of god decides that if a man wants to be his follower, he has to cut off the end of his dick! Jesus. And we talk about how ignorant the other pagans are! Freud and Sophocles could write one hell of a play or psychobabble theory about Super YHWH.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron

    SF, the world's first true Nanny State.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick

      wait, isn't SF a city a few hundred miles north of LA in the STATE of CA

      May 19, 2011 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
  11. Tiffany

    The article is incorrectly calling "inTACTivists" "inactivists." They got it wrong.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Tiffany, the text in the article is correct. "Intactivists" as in "Intact". It's a name which is why they put quotes around it.

      May 18, 2011 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
  12. Wesley

    The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion. In the beginning First Amendment applied only to the federal government. Everson v. Board of Education incorporated the Establishment Clause made it apply against the states. Sorry San Fran you are taking preference over non-religion and I do not think that this allowed. Also people who want medical reasoning. That is not the issue which it has shown to be a medical issue in cases. The real issue is that it is a religious practice and cannot be infridged on.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jerome Haltom

      Not true. We ban many religious practices. Like ritual sacrifice of your children.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
  13. Moses

    This has been a fundamental tenet of Judaism for 3000 years. I thought we had freedom of religion in this country.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rafael

      What if your religion promoted female genital mutilation? Foot binding?

      May 18, 2011 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
    • Sol Diablo

      @Moses, I completely agree! We should also allow sharia law in the United States. You lie and we cut your tongue out, you shop lift and we cut your hands off, you are ACCUSED of blasphemy and you are hanged... Now that's freedom of religion. Pardon the sarcasm...

      May 19, 2011 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • kumba

      so what go to get it in israel and leaves us alone
      you are law here just another one

      May 19, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
    • Fuyuko

      you do, and consenting adults should be able to do what they want, but I feel it is wrong to make this choice for another being, as it can be life altering for some.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
  14. chart

    I guess the economy got better somewhere along the way. Is that why people in SF are worried about this? Maybe they really do trust that we got out of the depression in 2009.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. EcceAdam

    While I believe that the human body is born perfect and doesn't need such alterations, leaving no room for religious custom is just asking for a huge lawsuit. Not to mention that it's just plain out wrong.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jerome Haltom

      So female genital mutilation is okay?

      May 19, 2011 at 00:51 | Report abuse |
  16. BlackDynamite

    Doing it is pretty stupid
    Banning it....just as dumb

    May 18, 2011 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Dave

    San Francisco wants to be the first American city to be Judenrein, I suppose. Well, let me assure the lunatics of that "city" that this will not be tolerated. Maybe you should be part of Iran and not America.

    May 18, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. read an article

    The Economist magazine recently featured an article discussing California's direct democracy, and how it is actually the source of all their problems.

    I was planning on moving out there, but with crap like this, maybe not.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

      Yes, stay where you are. It sucks in California.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:35 | Report abuse |
  19. smarter human

    My pe nis looks terrific without a collar!

    May 19, 2011 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Pilgrim1

    Clearly not an attack on religion...., rather a collection of activist quacks! But then again it is San Francisco, so maybe it is a collection of "normal" people. 😉

    May 19, 2011 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Steve

    What a silly law forcing one definition of morality upon everyone else. Morality should be taught, not legislated.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Logical

      So it's OK to cut a little girl's labia minora off then?

      May 19, 2011 at 00:51 | Report abuse |
  22. smarter human

    Does this mean SF will be the first city with P-enis Police?

    May 19, 2011 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Exeter

    Stupid people... you're all arguing over the 'benefits' or the 'right' to have it done, or perceived 'antisemitism' involved in prohibiting it from being performed... and you're all missing the -real- reason this is happening – – –

    It's an inside joke within the gay community, who for years has been going on about how the 'uncut' have supposedly increased sensitivity. The same b s. 'peti tion is being circulated in North Hollywood !

    You're all being made asses of. You're being mooned by the gays.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mason Myatt

      Apparently you were "mooned" by your own genetic make-up. Many people, gay and straight, all over the nation have been opposing this ancient practice for decades. This is not a "liberal v conservative' issue and it is not a "gay" issue. Get your head out of your ass.

      May 19, 2011 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
    • Exeter

      Mason – only you and your gay friends are objecting to it publicly. No one else cares, Nancy. They either do it or don't according to their preference.

      Only the Gay Gangsters are making political bullshi1 over this. A -law- ?? Really? Get stuffed, Mason.

      May 19, 2011 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
    • Exeter

      North F'n Hollywood... Bwahhahahaaa!

      May 19, 2011 at 01:05 | Report abuse |
  24. kumba

    European are uncut for centuries, so why here everybody is cut
    another story coming from either the Muslim or from the jews

    May 19, 2011 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. American

    I hope San Fransisco has another major quake soon. Might rattle their heads back on straight. Apparently the last quake rocked a few loose screws.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Seth avery

    LOT it is time to leave SODOM before it falls in the ocean!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. mrgmorggan56

    EFFFING idiots.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Logical

    So, if it is OK to chop the my son's foreskin off then it must be OK to cut my daughter labia minora off, right?

    May 19, 2011 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Logical

    What is the difference between cutting the foreskin off a little boy and cutting the labia minora off a little girl? Equally as barbaric.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Confued

      Well said

      May 19, 2011 at 00:38 | Report abuse |
    • Exeter

      Ooooh – The gays are soooo offended !

      May 19, 2011 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
    • theleader

      I think Exeter might be gay and is in crazy denial..

      May 19, 2011 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
  30. Jena Hirsh

    What if I wanted to cut off my child's nostrils or earlobes because of my religion or some other reason, would this be allowable (pre-ban)? If it's not ok to mutilate other parts of a child's body, why is the penis an exception?

    May 19, 2011 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. a dead sumerian

    i am very glad it was done when i was a child. i would not want to have it done to me now. i think this law is bullsheep. by those who probably sleep with sheep.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vmprophet

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why California has been, and will continue to be, in financial crisis. Because they focus on the DUMBEST things. 1- NO WAY this ever gets upheld in any court in this country. Why? Freedom of religion, that simple. You cant tell people its illegal to practice something that is part of their religion, plain and simple. Its like passing a law that says Its illegal to take a kid to church on sunday under the age of 17. And no, its not mutilation, thats a hugggee difference. This is taking an unnecessary piece of skin off, it takes 1 minute, its painful for a couple of days, and does not have a negative affect on your life. FOR GOD SAKE (no pun intended) fix your budget first, and let people do what they feel is right.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Logical

      So it's not dumb to chop the tip of your son's penis off for no good reason other than it was done to you?

      May 19, 2011 at 00:49 | Report abuse |
    • vmprophet

      You mean other then the hygienic benefits of it? On top of that, Its none of other peoples business. Why are other people worried about my sons penis? do they not have enough things to do in their life? How bored do you have to be to sit there and actually argue with a person about their sons penis? I mean REALLY? p.s I dont have any kids

      May 19, 2011 at 00:58 | Report abuse |
    • Mason Myatt

      Voting IS allowing the people to do what they think is right!

      May 19, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse |
    • HotAirAce

      Why do believers believe it is necessary to improve upon god's creation? As in, why did a perfect god create a body with hygiene issues requiring human intervention?

      May 19, 2011 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  33. pritiblond

    What a nut house. A city of fruits and nuts that has mutilated thousands of sphincter muscles worries about a little foreskin.

    May 19, 2011 at 00:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. HotAirAce

    To all you mentally ill believers claiming mutilating a baby should be allowed because of religious freedom, would you make the same claim and support a religion that sincerely believes human sacrifice is absolutely required as part of their religion?

    May 19, 2011 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Edward

    People (parents) have no right to decide to cut something as personal as another person's penis. It's usually the first step in parents attempt to make a child what they want them to be, whether that be religiously or socially.

    May 19, 2011 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Lee

    So many of you have no problem with mutilating a childs penis. OK. Let's forget this silly law but also let's repeal any laws that prevent female genital mutilation. Bet most of you wouldn't like that. Why is ok to mutilate a male but not a female?

    May 19, 2011 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. JustObvious

    Ban ear piercing while they are at it

    May 19, 2011 at 01:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. MalibuChick

    I bet that if someone in SF wants to be transgender while underage they would be in full support. That is far more invasive!

    May 19, 2011 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. somebody else

    you know what they do with the foreskins in SF? sell them to the locals as chewing gum !

    May 19, 2011 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • theleader

      Soooo how does it taste?

      May 19, 2011 at 01:59 | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      Actually, they're put in wrinkle cream. No joke.

      May 19, 2011 at 02:37 | Report abuse |
    • WWW

      Yep, wrinkle cream


      May 19, 2011 at 03:04 | Report abuse |
  40. AL


    May 19, 2011 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • theleader

      Very intelligent response AL. You must have a small penis exaggerated by the fact that you're missing your foreskin, is that so?

      May 19, 2011 at 02:00 | Report abuse |
  41. Peikovian

    San Francisco is just as obsessive as Dixie, but this is what they focus on.

    May 19, 2011 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Snipper

    Thankfully my parents chose to take mine off.. I'm pretty sure I would have tried to cut it off myself with scissors when I was about 11.

    May 19, 2011 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jake

      Are you retarded?

      May 19, 2011 at 01:47 | Report abuse |
  43. mkb

    please send help to San Fransisco the patients are running the asylum.. and they continue to come up with the craziest S#@T

    May 19, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. SanFernandoRose

    Its the choice of the parents if its a newborn baby and if an adult wants it its his choice. Its also a religious choice for Jewish People

    May 19, 2011 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. LastSaneMan

    Isn't SF the same city where a 'mother' gave her 8 year old daughter Botox injections? These people are NUTS!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Anonymous

    I'm cut. I've never once felt I'm missing out on anything in life. Why do these people feel they speak for me? Idiots.

    May 19, 2011 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      Also, I prefer the way my penis looks. I'm quite happy not having some freakish elephant trunk between my legs.

      May 19, 2011 at 02:10 | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      Of course you don't think you're missing out – you don't know what it would have felt like to have those extra 20,000 nerve endings there.

      It should have been your choice as an adult, not someone else's for you as an infant.

      May 19, 2011 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
  47. Brandon

    Let's ban cutting an umbilical cord too. We should wait until they are over 18 to decide whether they really want to cut theirs.

    May 19, 2011 at 02:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WWW

      The cord would disconnect on its own. No need to wait 18yrs.

      May 19, 2011 at 03:13 | Report abuse |
  48. IMO

    fWe can play the "what if" game all night. The fact is there are no religions in the US that makes you do that to be apart of their religion.

    May 19, 2011 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WWW

      I think that your are mixing up religious "practice" and "rite".

      May 19, 2011 at 03:16 | Report abuse |
  49. Jerrod

    The entire state of California is throwed off.

    May 19, 2011 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. common sense

    Everyone knows that children die from this "procedure," right? Children that would have lived if they hadn't had it, right? And that the amount of intact men who have to have this surgery later is the same as those who have to have it redone, right? Oh yeah, some have to have it twice, some are disfigured and some die, and it wasn't their choice to begin with.

    May 19, 2011 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
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