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San Francisco's anti-circumcision initiative faces court challenge

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posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:10 AM
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At this point, most people are probably aware that San Francisco has decided to put a ban on circumcision for males under 18 on the ballot for November.


The San Francisco-based advocacy group known as Male Genital Mutilation Bill collected enough signatures on a petition to guarantee the anti-circumcision proposal will appear on the ballot for the November 11 election.


It was already a controversial move to begin with on the part of San Francisco. At least according to the ADL.


"Only the state can make rules about medical procedures and this initiative violates that law.


So now the political battle begins.


The Anti-Defamation League and a number of individuals have filed a lawsuit challenging a San Francisco ballot initiative that would criminalize the circumcision of males under age 18.



But opponents of the bill say it violates the First Amendment's protection of the exercise of religion and that putting the matter to a popular vote goes against the Constitution's protections of the rights of individuals and minorities.

San Francisco's anti-circumcision initiative...

You can also read Maxmars previous thread on this here

Unfortunately, this is a political battle, and not a battle for what is right or wrong. IMO anyway.
There are many arguments for and against circumcision. But this case seems to have more to do with rights and religion than it does what is best for the child.

Personally, I feel a male should decide for themselves once they are of age whether or not to be circumcised. To me, there isn't much difference in this, and those girls in rural egypt who are forced to be circumcised once they have reached a given age. In both cases, it should be up to the person being cut on. Not up to someone else to decide which parts of their body they don't need.

What is the consensus of ATS membership?
edit on 6/23/2011 by Klassified because: ETA




posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:23 AM
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I will simply say, as a woman, I have a definate preference. And my son looks like his father.


I think this is a family decision. Not a state decision.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:26 AM
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Originally posted by showintail
I will simply say, as a woman, I have a definate preference. And my son looks like his father.


I think this is a family decision. Not a state decision.


Exactly right, it's a family choice, not up to the state!
It would be up to the state if in the beginning it were mandatory to have it peformed, but considering it's optional, I don't think there should be any of the states business IMO.




posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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I am pro choice here. I believe it is up to the individual when they are of consenting age to make this choice not a religious body (which have more power than they make out) or even the parents. Consider this. What if it wasn't just cutting off a sensitive part of the P#ni$ but the removal of a testicle. I use these words not to offend but because these are the current correct terminology.

I was never given a choice my religion told my parents to do this to me and so they instructed a doctor to remove something I was born with. This is about the right of the individual. It seems to me that religion is seeking to impose its beliefs over the rights of the individual. Let the individual make the choice. Don't rob them of that. If it really is for a so called covenant then let the person make that covenant when they have the mind to know what that means.

I challenge you religious people and leaders what are you afraid of? That the man might turn around and say hell no? I think it is. Yes I think it is more mindless dogma and superstition used to make a population show they are compliant.
edit on 23-6-2011 by Shirak because: more cents



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


The ADL will win.......you just watch!



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 01:06 AM
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Nobody should be allowed to mutilate someone's body without their consent. If you think circumcision just removes a flap of skin of no real consequence you are severely undereducated. It should not be a family decision to be allowed to amputate parts of the body. If you are against female circumcision but think male circumcision is okay, then you are either some kind of sexist or are profoundly ignorant of what circumcision truly destroys. There is a bizarre blindness in the USA by the populace on the issue.

Circumcision in the USA came forth as the result of a religious zealout, Dr. Kellogg, who was the brother of the man who created the cereal company. He believed all behavioral and physical problems from boys was the result of masturbation. He created all sorts of devices to inflict pain and harm the genitals of young boys to try to curb their evil, satanic sexual desires. He loves circumcision because it destroyed all the motile tissue, around 80% of the erotic nerve endings, and led to an eventual quasi-crippling and numbing of the penis. Curiously during the same time period in the USA, doctors were urging females to come in to be masturbated with a new device, vibrators, as the cure for all their psychological and physical woes. Females actually went to the doctor to be massaged to orgasm, while males were having the majority of their erogenous tissue butchered off. Dr. Kellogg believed the horrendous pain of the circumcision would leave a permanent mental scar of agony on a boy's psyche that would dissuade them from sexual thoughts the rest of their lives.

The natural penis has hundreds of thousands of nerve endings that are removed with circumcision. Many of these nerves are unique and provide sensations unlike any other on the body. The natural penis also contains a special type of high-definition nerve the same as in the fingertips. There are nerves to sense temperature changes, and nerves that sense the stretching and contracting of tissue.

The foreskin itself is meant to cover the glans, the most sensitive area, and keep it lubricated and moist. The glans is meant to be an internal organ by means of the foreskin, and without over the years the glans goes through a process called kornification whereas it becomes rough and loses sensitivity.

The are of foreskin is the only motile part of the male genitalia, which takes away friction during sex and provides its own lubrication. It produces lubrication similar to a vagina.

The foreskin also contains special glands which support the immune system and are found nowhere else on the body.

Also lost is the frenulum, which is full of specialized erogenous tissue.

The Egyptians circumcised their slaves with the intent of removing their sexual pleasure.
The Jews did it to themselves to remove their sexual pleasure so they would not be tempted by sex and would
therefore concentrate more fully on the worship of their god.

People cry out in anger at the thought of female circumcision, which in most cases is the removal of the clitoral hood. For some reason they declare female circumcision to be barbaric and horrible whilst supporting parent's "right to choose" to permanently take away their child's full sexual functioning.

Studies have also shown lasting psychological effects, as well as physical effects such as that circumcised boys have a lower pain threshold than uncircumcised boys.

I am presenting a very small picture of the overall truth.

Arguments about "cleanliness" and possible lessening of AIDS transmission are no excuse to mutilate and destroy an unrecoverable and functional part of person's body. Certainly many diseases could be prevented by removing the affected body parts before they have a chance to get infected.

What does anyone care if their genitals resemble their parents'?

Circumcision is not safe either, as a certain amount of deaths a year are caused by it. Furthermore it disfigured the penis and can in later life result in impotence, in bent penis shaft as a result of uneven tissue, of hair covering the shaft of the penis since the skin is pulled up from the groin area during erection, very painful erections as there not being enough skin to cover the fully erect penis after puberty, and more.

The only thing close to an excuse for supporting such a thing is perhaps complete ignorance of which there is much about this subject.

Circumcised men argue that they enjoy sex and are extremely defensive about the issue. People who have wrecked genitals as a result or feel the psychological damage from it are ridiculed and belittled and told to get over it or not care. The U.N. has made female circumcision a human rights violation but nobody cares about the rights of boys.

And right here in this forum are people saying it's okay to butcher a baby's penis just because a family believes its okay.

A person can get their parts hacked off when they are all grown up if they want to, but it needs to be their choice.
Genital mutilation has no place in a sane society.. which is why so many in the USA support it, apparently.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by showintail
 




I will simply say, as a woman, I have a definate preference. And my son looks like his father.

I hope you asked his permission before making that "family decision", otherwise you mutilated his genitals against his will and I find that terrible. I've never understood that, why do people cut a part of their penis off? What if I cut off a part of my childrens ears or noses? I would probably get thrown into jail, but it's completely OK to cut off part of kids penises?



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by TupacShakur
reply to post by showintail
 




I will simply say, as a woman, I have a definate preference. And my son looks like his father.

I hope you asked his permission before making that "family decision", otherwise you mutilated his genitals against his will and I find that terrible. I've never understood that, why do people cut a part of their penis off? What if I cut off a part of my childrens ears or noses? I would probably get thrown into jail, but it's completely OK to cut off part of kids penises?


Aparentley you did not understand my post. I did not say what option was chosen. I did not feel the need to tell ats how my son hangs. Just that he does.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 02:54 AM
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Reply to post by 0001391
 


Male circumcision != female circumcision by any stretch of the imagination






 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 03:16 AM
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Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
Male circumcision != female circumcision by any stretch of the imagination


This attitude annoys me. Its sexist plain and simple.

The female version causes more damage and complications, there's no denying that. But they are very similar organs, very similar procedures, done for very similar reasons (sexual control) and IMO should be treated the same.

IMO the only reason the female version is seen differently is because its an Eastern/African practice and not endorsed by major western religions.

Give the choice to the person who is getting it done. Let them choose >18 when they can make the decision for themselves. Anything less is a violation of their rights and is traumatic for the child.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified


Personally, I feel a male should decide for themselves once they are of age whether or not to be circumcised. To me, there isn't much difference in this, and those girls in rural egypt who are forced to be circumcised once they have reached a given age. In both cases, it should be up to the person being cut on. Not up to someone else to decide which parts of their body they don't need.

What is the consensus of ATS membership?


I`m that horrified by parents that can do this to a new born without the childs consent,that they should be charged with child abuse.

I`ve read the threads on this topic and women who advocate for this to be done because the penis looks better to them etc (vomit) well hows about let the kid grow up and make his own decision,Doctors should not be allowed to perform this procedure just on the preference of a parent.


Is circumcision less painful for a baby than for an adult?
Infants experience excruciating pain during circumcision and for weeks afterwards, and they can show behavioural changes such as frequent crying, avoidance of physical contact, reduced feeding, and sleep disturbance. Local anaesthetic creams such as EMLA are not adequate, and a general anaesthetic poses a significant risk for infants under the age of six months. Adult circumcision is less painful as men can undergo general anaesthesia and receive pain relief during the post-operative period.
www.bellybelly.com.au...

How anyone could put their child through that is beyond me.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 03:23 AM
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A lot of my angst against this comes from cultural differences... for me culturally the amputation of this part of the penis closely relates to sexual diseases and as such it leaves the amputee less than whole..

but this is my cultural bias and would be the position I would be debating from..

From that cultural bias I can not comprehend and there is a huge amount of horror attached to the question why someone (especially a parent) would want to deliberately amputate parts of their child and make them less than whole..

Tho I do not agree with the practice I do not intend to take away the religious right of some.. but even there I am left scratching my head to understand why if we are made in gods image someone would want to deliberately amputate the parts god gave them! as I kinda feel that is disrespectful to god.. but again that is my religious bias (Roman Catholic)

So culturally and religiously I am left scratching my head...

On a medical note the British Medical Association sees no proven benefit from this procedure (due to bia from all sides) except the risk associated with the procedure itself.

Again that leaves me scratching my head as to why anyone (especially a parent) would take such a risk with their child for no proven benefit.
edit on 23/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Maybe I am a bit ignorant but isn't this a violation of the freedom of religion? What about the jewish faith that requires circumcision for a boy child to be accepted in to the culture?



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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I appreciate everyones responses to this. We pride ourselves on being a civilized society. One where knowledge and logic prevails. Yet when I look at our history, I see practices, and societal norms that we would call savage if any third world country practiced them. Yet we defend them.

It seems there is always an "authoritative" element in our society that deems we need to mutilate or torture ourselves, or someone else in this case. And circumcision is but one of those. Though it may be one of the more barbaric practices of the western world, it is by no means the only one.

Over one hundred years ago, someone decided that women needed to wear a contraption that fit so tightly, they could hardly breathe, and would faint or pass out for lack of oxygen. That same element later on, decided that women who weren't bosomy enough, needed foreign matter in their bodies to make them acceptable. And tell me high heels are not a torture device. Even I can see that from a males perspective. Though one might argue in the above cases there is at least a choice. But is there really?

So here we are, that same element making a decision for the uninformed masses under the guise of democracy. Are we really more civilized than our ancestors? Or just more knowledgeable?
edit on 6/23/2011 by Klassified because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


I think part of the issue is cultural baggage, on this particular topic the baggage in my country seems to stems from this particular issue not being seen as circumcision but rather historically seen as an amputation in response to sexual diseases, or as a means to prevent youthful sexual pleasure...

Leaving the amputee in context seen as dirty/less than a man which in itself creates a deep bias,

Cultural bias is always an important factor, so I wonder what the bias is for San Francisco to attempt to ban circumcisions. Is it the religious element or something else.. but I think understanding where the bias is coming from would help understand the issue instead of us debating our different types of cultural baggage.
edit on 23/6/11 by thoughtsfull because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by 0001391
 


Thank you very much. I was putting together my reply to this OP and you took all my points ₊ many more. I have nothing more to say ... well, I have (now not so) heretic idea: no one should be baptized without informed consent.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 11:37 AM
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What the heck is wrong with San Francisco - The circumcision thing in San Francisco came up on this thread. ya'll can take a look at the comments if you like. There are more people against circumcision then I thought there would be. I'm surprised. It's a healthier way to live. But whatever ... SanFrancisco doesn't have a right to take away that choice from people. This is NOT like female circumcision - not even close.
edit on 6/23/2011 by FlyersFan because: forgot a word



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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The group against banning circumcision in San Francisco just got a whole lot bigger:

www.haaretz.com...

I guess plastic surgery, hysterectomies, cesareans, coronary bypasses, all of which 60% are done unnecessarily should also be challenged in court?

So while we're challenging unnecessary surgeries performed on children each year in the USA and worldwide.... we have tonsillectomies, abortions and a whole range of many other unnecessary surgeries performed on children - too many to list in fact.

Now I'm pro-choice and I'm sure a large portion of those against circumcision are also pro-choice! We don't mind you killing an unborn child but we do mind if you're going to circumcise your sons! Yep.....rings hyprocracy!

My guess is. most of you have never heard of balano-posthitis, phimosis, and paraphimosis. Cancer of the penis happens in 1 n 600 males yet occurs excusively among those who are uncircumcised. No man who was circumcised since birth has ever been diagnosed with cancer of the penis, ever! Then we have male yeast infections & urinary tract infections (balantis) that affect 1 in every 50 uncircumcised boys & men. We also know there is a very stronger risk of STD's (especially gonorrhea) among uncircumcised males not to mention the connection between some STDs and cervical cancer. I could go on and on and on......but the medical journals, in regards to the pros and cons of circumcism, is now leaning towards the pros.

No person let alone a judicial system has the right to dictate to me whether or not I can circumcise my sons.

Some of the posts on this thread are about as rediculous as it gets; stupitity at it's best.

It's not my business whether or not a mother chooses to circumcise her sons.....but I do know my daughter won't be going anywhere near those who are not! We stick to our own, you stick to your own.



posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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This law will not stand in court, there is already precedent for such cases, one case involving chicken mutilation for Santaria, and another regarding peyote in sacred rituals in I think Oregon. San Francisco is going to loose this one if they follow precedent.

I was wrong the Santaria case was also in Cali: articles.latimes.com...
edit on 6/23/1111 by Golithion because: (no reason given)


Here is the Smith Case for Peyote: www.lectlaw.com...

My question is what is the government's compelling interest in banning circumcision?
edit on 6/23/1111 by Golithion because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by bluemirage5
 




most of you have never heard of balano-posthitis, phimosis, and paraphimosis.

The first one is from poor hygeine. The last two are uncommon.



Cancer of the penis happens in 1 n 600 males yet occurs excusively among those who are uncircumcised.

Cancer is a common occurrence in our society. Maybe we need a list of body parts to amputate at birth to keep incidences of it down.



Then we have male yeast infections & urinary tract infections (balantis) that affect 1 in every 50 uncircumcised boys & men.

These are all similar to what females experience commonly. Maybe we can find a surgical procedure for females to pre-empt these problems at birth. OR, we could just teach both men and women preventative measures, and deal with those cases that aren't related to hygeine, etc. Just as we do now with women who get yeast infections, and foul odors.



We also know there is a very stronger risk of STD's (especially gonorrhea) among uncircumcised males not to mention the connection between some STDs and cervical cancer.

Here again, good hygeine. Good preventative measures. Any female can spread STD's as fast as any uncircumcised male can. It's interesting that not one of the several medical pages I googled listed uncircumcision as a common cause of cervical cancer. But they listed plenty of other things. I realize you said "connection". What I found in this "connection", goes right back to hygeine.



I could go on and on and on......but the medical journals, in regards to the pros and cons of circumcism, is now leaning towards the pros.

Of course they are. And I'm not surprised. Not only is amputation easier. It pays better.

Not one thing you listed has anything to do with uncircumcision, other than to prove that boys who are uncircumcised need to be taught by their parents the same thing a circumcised man needs to be taught. Cleanliness and common sense.




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