Saturday, July 30, 2011

Judge removes San Francisco anti-circumcision ballot proposal

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“Should I circumcise my newborn son? → No.”

I suppose it never had any real chance of passing, but it’s still disappointing to see the San Francisco ballot initiative to ban circumcision on boys under 18 being struck down before it even came to a vote:

A judge on Thursday struck a measure from the city's November ballot that called for a ban on most circumcisions of male children, saying the proposed law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom and a California law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi confirmed a tentative decision she issued a day earlier and came after she heard arguments from proponents of the ban, which would have made San Francisco the first U.S. city to hold a public vote on whether to outlaw the circumcision of minors.

And as if to exemplify just why this measure is needed:

"It is up to parents to make the choice whether or not to have their baby boys circumcised," said Abby Michelson Porth, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. "We did not want to have Mr. Schofield legislating our religious traditions."

Fuck you. It is not up to the parents to decide whether or not to slice off bits of their children’s genitals. Males have every right to undergo circumcision if and when they choose to do so; conversely, no-one has the right to force it upon them at a time when they are unable to resist, or even understand, what’s being done to them.

This is why those arguments about “religious freedom” just don’t hold any water in cases like this. We’re not talking about prohibiting believers from practicing their faith, or from engaging in whatever rituals they want, themselves or with other consenting adults. We’re talking about preventing them from forcing these beliefs and rituals upon those too young and weak to defend themselves. Male circumcision may not be the most dramatic of procedures, admittedly, but that is wholly besides the point. It’s all about the principle: You don’t get to do something, especially anything permanent, to someone else unless they A) know about it and B) accept it, conditions that are entirely absent when it comes to infants.

Sadly, it seems that San Francisco, as with the world at large, is not yet able to comprehend this.

(via Joe. My. God.)