Monday, September 12, 2011

California lawmakers want to ban anti-circumcision proposals

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

Earlier this year, there was an initiative in San Francisco (which was mirrored in Santa Monica) to present a ballot proposal that would’ve banned circumcision on boys under 18 years of age. Naturally, this raised quite a bit of religious furor – how dare the government infringe upon parents’ and clergy’s “religious freedom” of slicing up their little kids’ genitals! – which was reflected in an opinion survey that projected a rather grim outlook for the proposal. It all came to a head when a court struck the initiative from the ballot, preventing it from ever going to a vote.

Now, the state legislature has done one better: they’re attempting to ban any other anti-circumcision proposals from ever entering a ballot vote ever again. From Christian news site OneNewsNow:

Lawmakers in The Golden State have sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown (D) that, if approved, would ensure parents' rights to circumcise their male children. The state assembly approved AB 768 in a 67-2 vote, essentially deciding that local governments should be prohibited from banning the circumcision of male babies. The measure's proponent, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, says he introduced it because a ban on the practice would halt religious and medical freedoms.

I’m so tired of these “religious freedom” dog-whistles. There’s nothing about “freedom” in putting your infant through permanent surgery in adherence to whatever Bronze Age-era dogma you follow. Again, I have nothing against people who choose to modify their own bodies once they’re mature enough to grok the repercussions of their acts. Which is exactly why kids cannot possibly validly consent to circumcision, no matter what bullshit faith-based protests religious parents may dredge up to defend their actions. If your kid can’t even give valid consent to having sex, why the hell would he then be able to acquiesce to having you modify his genitals?

All in all, this is yet another example of gormless legislators rushing to protect ever-precious religious sensibilities at the expense of helpless victims.

(via Joe. My. God.)