SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A proposal to criminalize male circumcision will go before San Francisco voters this November after the Department of Elections verified Tuesday that supporters have gathered enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

Proponents of the circumcision ban submitted 12,271 signatures to the city’s Department of Elections, which was able to verify 7,743 of them, a clerk with the department said Wednesday. The measure needed a minimum of 7,168 to qualify.

Supporters of the ban say male circumcision is a form of genital mutilation that should not be forced on a young child.

The organizer of the campaign, Lloyd Schofield, has said he believes male circumcision is wrong, and likens it to female circumcision practices already banned in the U.S.

Local religious groups have strongly opposed the proposal, which they say impinges on their constitutional rights to religious freedom.

The measure would punish people who circumcise a minor with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

KCBS And Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Schofield said Wednesday of the certification, “Obviously we’re very pleased, it was a lot of work for a lot of people … and we look forward to continuing that outreach and discussion with the people of San Francisco.”

The initiative’s backers say its progress is the biggest success story to date of a decades-old nationwide movement to end circumcision of male infants in the United States. A similar effort in Massachusetts last year failed to gain traction.

More information about the initiative is available at

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (39)
  1. Steve Arsenault says:

    Only in San Franfreaky could this happen. My bet is that you could get 7,168 votes to put anything on a S.F. Ballot.

  2. William says:

    This is incredibly stupid even by the standards of San Francisco. Another good example of why ballot initiatives have made California the most disfunctional state in the country.

    1. RVV says:

      I can’t agree more strongly with the oppoents of this terrible initiative. What a horrible idea. Every parent has the religious “rite” to cut up their infants. The next thing you know, these liberal “nuts” will try to stop my own religion’s practice of cutting the top inch off of my children’s ears and the front inch off their noses. It’s my “religion” so butt out.

      1. TT says:

        Religious people are indeed nuts. However, this isn’t about just religion. It has health benefits to it as well as you can see below.


  3. bhf says:

    I thought this was a liberal city?

    1. NRA Life Member says:

      Liberal city? San Francisco? No way. San Francisco is a socialist city. They want to control everything you can say, do and think. If you don’t agree with the “party line” then you will be oppressed into either thinking the way they do or be an outcast. Does the pattern sound familiar? We’ve seen it before.

      1. iheartrushlimbaugh says:

        @NRA Life Member – How would you know who we are in San Francisco unless YOU live here, which makes YOU one of US. Otherwise, you are an ignorant fool. No, San Francisco is not a liberal or socialist city, AT ALL. That is a myth.

      2. Soon to Leave SF says:

        I live in San Fransicko and NRA Life Member’s description of San Fransicko is 110% accurate.

  4. chaya says:

    Religious freedom anyone????

    1. Jennifer says:

      San Francisco also banned guns with a ballot measure. That a thing is unconstitutional is irrelevent here. Sad, but true.

    2. TT says:

      Religious Freedom has its limits (thankfully). There are people all over the planet that do insane things for their religion (e.g. some tribes believe that twins are a sign of evil demons and try to kill them as part of their “religious beliefs”). If those people became American citizens, they wouldn’t be allowed to practice it here DESPITE it being part of their religion.


      1. Gmaan03 says:

        Um, yes some religious beliefs are crazy. But I really never heard of Christians or Jewish people killing twins, shaking rocks and stoning girls. Oh you will dig up some horror that a Christian group did at one time or another, but that is an exception. This is a personal preference by and for parents to make for their kids. Oh and by the way the Muslim faith is already taking hold in this country, watch out SF and other liberal places, they will come for you…..

      2. TT says:

        ****Gmaan writes: “Um, yes some religious beliefs are crazy. But I really never heard of Christians or Jewish people killing twins”

        I never claimed that Christians nor Jews killed twins. I was trying to use an intentionally absurd (yet true) example to illustrate the larger concept.

        “***shaking rocks and stoning girls.”

        The Bible actually commands you to stone people to death in numerous passages. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger. It’s amazing how easily Christians can ignore God’s direct commands to them as if some of them don’t count.

        “***Oh you will dig up some horror that a Christian group did at one time or another, but that is an exception.”

        Just like Muslim terrorists are an exception.

        ****This is a personal preference by and for parents to make for their kids.****

        I agree. Adding on to what you said, it is also a health advantage.

        ***Oh and by the way the Muslim faith is already taking hold in this country****

        Do you even understand that Christianity and Islam are both Abrahamic Faiths? Do you know what that means? It means that they both believe in, what is for intents and purposes, the EXACT same God. These two ignorant groups are fighting against one another over religion when they believe in the same Supreme Being. It is hilarious.

        As the saying goes: “Religion: Giving hope to those living in a world torn apart by religion.”

        “****watch out SF and other liberal places, they will come for you…..”

        Your xenophobia is palpable. What makes this country great is that we are a melting pot of cultures.


  5. Stephen Wyatt says:

    This story has the wrong photo

    1. Miles says:

      It’s all about the feet.

  6. Hollie Coil says:

    I cant believe this! how silly this is! shouldn’t they stop spending money on useless things and start spending it on something that is needed?

  7. Don says:

    I love San Francisco, but this is so silly.

    Do the right thing, San Franciscans, and vote against it.

  8. rob t says:

    I can kill or abort my male baby legally but I cant cut off his foreskin?

    Only in America. What sad shape we are in.

  9. Bill says:

    Only in San Francisco. I was born here almost 60 years ago, and this city
    never fails to amuse me. I liked it better when San Francisco was conservative and didn’t concern itself with “anteater” vs “helmet”. No wonder San Francisco is so laughed at.

  10. Bill says:

    i heartrushlimbaugh: San Francisco ISN’T a liberal/socialist city?
    Wmazing. WHAT cave do you live in? San Francisco is a liberal mecca.

  11. Randy says:

    Well another idea from a state filled with the worst of the worst. The city of San Fran itself gets so much publicity (go figure?) seeing how much of the non-bathing idiots from 50 years ago reside there I guess. This is actually about religion…the covenant with God that many there hate. Please, please, please, feel free to secede from the union.

    1. TT says:

      LOL… Randy… Your covenant with God would require you to KILL children if you’ve ever ready your Bible.

      Jesus explicitly informs us on how to get into Heaven when he says, “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” He says this in both Luke and Mark. Yet “amazingly” Christians are able to come up with countless variations on how this doesn’t apply to them. Because when money is involved, faith becomes secondary more times than not.

      Or in the case where God commands items such as, “If anyone curses his father or mother, he MUST be put to death” or “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress MUST be put to death” or “If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has se-xual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them MUST be cut off from their people” or “A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you MUST be put to death. You are to stone them” or “anyone who works on the Sabbath MUST be put to death” etc, etc, etc…

      It is amazing how people who worship God and consider it their job to explicitly follow his commands are so easily able to ignore what God says. Those orders to kill contain little ambiguity. These concepts are completely illogical.

      So did your child ever curse at you? If so, why haven’t you killed them? Have you ever purchased something from a store on Sunday? Why haven’t you killed the workers there?

      You are typing on a computer… how do you own it? Jesus said to sell EVERYTHING you own.

      It must be nice to cherry pick which parts of the Bible you want to believe in and then pretend it is real. Good thing there is no hypocrisy there.


  12. Dj Mo the Marine says:

    I love San Francisco for always thinking outside the box. However, this is a direct violation of the 1st amendment because this is a religious practice that may religions carry out.

    Also, don’t we have better things to focus on, like creating jobs and getting our economy back in shape. Bringing the troops home from a long winded war…

  13. McD says:

    I have and idea—–why doesn’t EVERYBODY mind their own damned business……it was said PERFECTLY in a song years ago……you can’t even run your own life, I’ll be damned if you’ll run mine…………….

  14. Rascal69 says:

    No one can deny a woman the right to abort an unborn child…it is a matter of choice. As for the foreskin on a male child, the State knows better if this should be removed and you have no right to decide that yourself…it’s simply not a matter of choice. I guess that makes it Pro-Foreskin vs Pro-Choice.

  15. Jay says:

    I guess I am just a moron. Why is it in these times of trouble and strife people feel a need to enter into these types of follies? I was born in SF some 62 years ago in SF general no less and have always loved this city. As a native born San Franciscan please stop this madness.

  16. Rob says:

    I love San Francisco, I live a few miles south. But seriously, the city has gone mental. Every year, stranger and more idiotic laws come on the city ballot. They wonder why the rest of the country thinks the city is a joke.

  17. MK says:

    Once again SF is on the cutting edge! Ha Ha.

  18. BELIEVER says:


    1. TT says:

      What is sick are people who are unable to comprehend that the Bible is an antiquated book written by uneducated men 2K years ago who believed the Earth to be flat. The facts are that a 5th grader today knows more about the world that we live in than did the uneducated people who wrote the Bible. It is ironic that you would NEVER let a 5th grader dictate the course of your life, but when it comes to the Bible, then it all of the sudden “magically” becomes OK to do so. It’s mind-boggling.

      As for “polluting areas of the country,” here are some facts for you about the evil liberals versus your religious right:

      The Bible Belt has the highest rate of teen pregnancy BY FAR in the country while the ultra liberal NorthEast has the lowest. Women with religious affiliations make up more than 3/4 of all abor-tions in the United States. And while we are at it, atheists have lower rates of divorce than Christians, Jews and even the Mormons.

      So yeah, atheists would be totally scre-wed without the Christians indeed. How horrible would it be for the Christians to disappear and atheists have to live in a world with lower divorce rates, fewer abor-tions, have less xenophobia, fewer teen pregnancies and a higher intelligence rate? However, luckily for us, not all Christians are as daft as you are, so we can live with them.


  19. urolizzard says:

    Liberalism is a form of mental illness in which there is no treatment except the tough love of reality. Even then these unfortunate people afflicted do not learn. Like a sociopath they do the same wrong things over and over again. It has nothing to do with San Francisco Republican or Democrat it is dysfunctional thinking. For Example only a liberal could rationalize spending money that he or she doesn’t have as a means to financial wealth and prosperity. Education doesn’t seem to help sometimes in makes the condition worse in these select elitist people. There are far to many examples. I advocate Reality Treatment Facilities but most do not learn. It not San Francisco.

    1. TT says:

      Lizard writes: ” For Example only a liberal could rationalize spending money that he or she doesn’t have as a means to financial wealth and prosperity.”

      LOL… have you heard of Ronald Reagan (who happens to be one of my personal favorite presidents)? Do you not understand how Reaganonmics worked? Go look at the chart below that monitors the National Debt by Presidential Term since WWII. There were a total of 16 terms that have final figures. Of those 16, 9 were conservatives and 7 were liberals. Here are the stats:

      Liberals: Reduced the Debt = 7, Raised the Debt = 0
      Conservatives: Reduced the Debt = 3, Raised the Debt = 6

      Thus, it is the conservatives that are spending money we don’t have.



  20. Living on the same planet with you says:

    Everybody knows that if they pass a bill like this that another group will request a bill to allow it for those who believe in it.
    So why not just leave things alone.
    Why not listen to what doctors have to say. Doctors can give us the pros and cons before making our choice. Those who don’t want it your currently free to go that route. For those who believe in it we should allow you choose to do so.
    Is that simple enough?
    This country is filled with many kinds of people and not all of us have the same opinions and belief’s but to take away from another persons choice is wrong.
    The ten commandments (for those who believe in them or not) is an outline and guide for how we should treat each other.
    Remember your grandma probably once said…. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So consider that before deciding on who is correct and who is not.
    Thank you for reading…. I shall get off my soap box new. lol

    1. TT says:

      Regarding the Golden Rule:

      Interestingly enough, that exists in almost every religion (which makes sense as humans tried to create laws in which to have a civilized society):

      Bahá’í Faith: “And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself.”

      Brahmanism: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.”

      Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

      Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”

      Egyptian: “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.”

      Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”

      Humanism: “Don’t do things you wouldn’t want to have done to you.”

      Islam: “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

      Jainism: “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.”

      Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.”

      Native American: “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.”

      Shinto: “The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.”

      Sikhism: “No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend.”

      Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”

      Yoruba: “One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”

      Zoroastrianism: “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.”



  21. The Truth says:

    Here’s the list of reasons off the top of my head of why I would circu-mcise my child (in no particular order and I’m probably forgetting a few):

    1) Reduced Risk of HI-V Infection (up to 60%)

    2) Reduced Risk of Transferring HI-V to Someone Else

    3) Reduced Risk of Uri-nary Tract Infections

    4) Reduced Risk of Pen-ile Cancer

    5) Not Taking a 10% Chance That My Son Will Have to be Circu-mcised Later On

    6) Removed the Need for Super-Thorough Cleaning of the Pen-is

    7) The VAST majority of American Women Prefer Circu-mcised Sch-longs

    8) Reduced Risk of Geni-tal Warts

    9) Reduced Risk of Bala-nitis (swelling of the pen-is head)

    10) No Smegma Odor

    11) He’ll Look Like the Vast Majority of Other Boys in the Locker Room

    12) He Won’t Face Pyschological Damage From Being “Different”

    13) He Won’t Have Some Girl (many of whom may have never seen an uncircu-mcised pen-is) Say to Him: “Ew! What’s That?”

    1. The Truth says:

      Elaborating on the above:

      As one can see, there are actual HEALTH BENEFITS to this. If doctors could give your child a shot that would reduce his risk of HI-V by a significant amount, who here wouldn’t do it? Then why deprive him of that when circu-mcision is the equivalent.

      Is pen-ile cancer extremely common? No. But if I can get rid of that risk entirely for my son, why wouldn’t I? Duke Medical writes: “cancer of the pen-is in adults almost never occurs in men who were circu-mcised as infants.” The 5 year survival rate for pen-ile cancer is only about 50%

      So by circu-mcising my child, I’m reducing his risk of ST-D’s, HI-V, Pen-ile Cancer, etc which improves his chance for a healthy life. I’m reducing his chance for geni-tal warts, swelling of the pen-is and possible foul odors. Moreover, I’m making him more attractive to his se-xual partners (assuming he digs chicks) and I’m preventing him from being teased in gym class. Additionally, I’m eliminating the 1 in 10 chance that he’ll need to get circu-mcised later on in life in grade school or high school. Finally, when he goes out camping for a week, he doesn’t need to worry about having to spend time thoroughly cleaning his di-ck.

      And if all that is not enough, when it comes time for him to get married, having a circu-mcised pen-is reduces the risk that his wife will contract cerv-ical cancer as well.

      In my own opinion, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 3am – 3pm PST

Watch & Listen LIVE