Circumcision ban supporters file over 12,000 qualifying signatures in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, California: "May the foreskin be with you" was the message on buttons worn by members of a group that supports a ban on circumcision when they filed 12,265 signatures with San Francisco election officials on Tuesday, April 26 in the hopes of qualifying a Circumcision Ban Initiative for the November 8, 2011 ballot.
Lloyd Schofield, a retired hotel credit manager, is the primary organizer behind the initiated city ordinance. Initiative supporters have a website, the "San Francisco MGM Bill" website, where they say, "Your support will help us to protect ALL infants and children in San Francisco from the pain and harm caused by forced genital cutting. Damage ranges from excruciating pain, nerve destruction, loss of normal, natural and functional tissue, infection, disfigurement and sometimes death." "MGM", as used in the title of the initiative, is an acronym for "Male Genital Mutilation".
Under the terms of the proposed ban:
- It would be "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years."
- Violators could be charged with misdemeanor. If found guilty, they could face a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- An exception is made for circumcisions that are "necessary to the physical health of the person on whom it is performed because of a clear, compelling, and immediate medical need with no less-destructive alternative treatment available."
Groups that have spoken out against the proposal include the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Anti-Defamation League. Abby Michaelson-Porth, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said, "There will be an organized campaign against it."