|"Good job Schlomo, A perfect cut!"|
San Francisco. Feb 22, 2011. The left coast city that's that has banned happy meals, Walmart Superstores, bottled water, cigarettes, plastic grocery bags, now has a new ban in the works.
They are planning a ballot referrendum to ban circumcision and it’s stirring up controversy across the state.
“It's definitely a personal choice issue. The government doesn't have any right to be involved,” said Cathy Pope, a Merced resident.
“On a personal level, if I had a baby boy I would not be doing it. But if it's part of their religion and their tradition, then so be it, if they want to do it. Again, it's a parent's choice,” said Armando Arredondo, the father of a nine-month-old girl.
|Civil Rights Activist|
But the author of the initiative, San Francisco resident, self described "civil rights activist" Lloyd Schofield sees it differently. “His body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents,” said Schofield
The initiative would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the genitals of a minor under 18, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail.
The ban would still permit the baby to voluntarily decide to be circumcised once he achieves the age of adulthood. Which is a fairly unlikely prospect when you consider what most 18 year old boys are doing at the time.
More than seven thousand signatures are needed for the initiative to make it onto San Francisco's ballot next November. As for parents who circumcise their boys for religious reasons, the author says they would have to follow the law as well.
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It's part of a national push to end the procedure, which some say is steeped in tradition but poses risks and has little medical benefit. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association do not recommend routine circumcision.
In addition to the list of things banned by the city, they have also banned Segway riders (because they encourage laziness), selling baby chicks, selling soft drinks with sugar on city property, and have outlawed travel to Arizona for city workers in protest of Arizona wanting Federal immigration laws enforced.