Circumcision May Be Outlawed in San Francisco

San Francisco, a city that has long been a safe-haven for the liberal elite, has been on a ban-happy kick of late. But the City by the Bay may have gone a bridge too far with its latest proposed ban . . . on circumcisions!

Last year, so-called “Happy Meals” – children’s meals accompanied by a free gift for the toddlers – found themselves in the city’s gun sights (a bad turn of phrase, I know, for a city that shudders when even a picture of a gun appears in an advertisement). That particular ban would permit such inducements to be given away only if the meal met the city’s stringent “nutritional criteria” (probably broccoli, spinach and carrots). The city manager explained, apparently with a straight face, that San Francisco was “part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice.”

Now the city may be moving toward an agenda of “genital justice.”

Regardless of whether the city’s Grand Pooh Bahs can defend with a straight face the proposed ban on clipping a baby boy’s foreskin, San Franciscans do appear to be serious about the matter.

The Associated Press reports that local activists have gathered enough valid signatures to place an anti-circumcision referendum on the November ballot. What these activists call “genital mutilation,” would be banned for male children, absent meeting the almost-impossible, “medical necessity” exemption provided for in the referendum. There is no religious exemption. Anyone violating the ban would be charged with a “misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail.”

San Francisco clearly has jumped the shark with this proposal. Even some residents who normally would likely shrug off extreme left-wing campaigns mounted by various activist groups, probably are wondering if things are going a bit too far with this one. They are right to question this proposal. It is about as far off the “Bizarro Scale” as you can get; at least, that is, until we see what San Franciscans come up with next year.

By Bob Barr – The Barr Code

53 comments Add your comment


May 27th, 2011
6:12 am

Bob, what is really “Bizarro” is being the only country in the world that straps innocent infants into a device called a circumstraint (google that one) to peel off the most erogenous part of their private parts for no reason. If you google “functions of the foreskin” you might learn something instead of getting all defensive.


May 27th, 2011
6:33 am

Paul – I took your suggestion and googled “functions of the foreskin”. Unfortunately all I got were propaganda sites for the anti-circumcision crowd. I did run across one wikipedia article that mentioned this: When assessing areas producing sexual pleasure, the foreskin was ranked 7th, after the glans, lower and upper shaft, and the left and right sides of the penis, but above the area between scrotum and anus, the scrotum itself, and the anus.

I am circumcised, and my son is circumcised. I was present at his circumcision (in a hospital) and he did not seem to be in lasting or abject pain. I saw my dad almost die from a penile infection when his mind became ravaged by strokes and he would no longer keep himself clean or allow anyone else to. In my opinion, the function of the foreskin is to protect the glans portion of the penis in animals who don’t wear underwear. Since no one I know goes around naked, I think the glans is protected by clothing.

As a parent, it is my job to make what I feel is the best decisions for my children’s health. Some people would argue that I created risks by having my children vaccinated; I disagree.

If you don’t want to circumcise your kids, then don’t. Leave the rest of us alone.


May 27th, 2011
7:06 am

Barbaric, ancient practice rooted in myth and superstition, and carried forth by “religion.”

Misyt Fyed

May 27th, 2011
8:07 am

So in San Fran killing the unborn child is a personal choice that government needs to stay out of but they are all over circucision. What a laugh. I believe it’s time to classify liberalism as a form of mental illness. Absolutely incapable of consistent thought.

Very Very

May 27th, 2011
8:22 am

The first rift in the Catholic Church came very early: like twenty minutes after Christ ascended into heaven: and it was over circumcision. Apparently, Peter thought circumcision should be a sacrament, and Paul thought there should be no genetalia criteria.

So it wasn’t about a man rising from the dead and saving all of our souls at all. It was about the schlong. I am totally embarrassed 2B a catholic and I think the ban on circumcision is the best Big Brother advice ever and precisely where government should be itching to keep it’s hands. Then this issue would have a happy ending.

Author’s note: This topic is so fertile with material, yet look how Bob Barr mishandled it. He even missed the “Mr. Happy/Happy Meal/Happy Ending” connect. The man shouldn’t be blogging. Plain and simple. Sad but true.


May 27th, 2011
8:32 am

The city of butt sex just got a lot creepier.


May 27th, 2011
8:33 am

“Barbaric, ancient practice rooted in myth and superstition, and carried forth by “religion.”

Steve ain’t none too bright.

David Lane

May 27th, 2011
8:37 am

Mr. Barr: You do the whole let’s-make-fun-of-wacky-San Francisco thing, but I don’t see a substantive argument anywhere in your piece. Do you support the female circumcision ban that is currently federal law? That law bans practices much less painful and permanent than male circumcision, such as pricking the labia with a pin.

By the way, you’re welcome for the laws against smoking in public buildings, etc. San Franciscans have become accustomed to the pattern — you mock us, you follow us, you pretend you came up with the idea yourself. You’ll get here eventually, and when you do we’ll welcome you.


May 27th, 2011
8:45 am

“By the way, you’re welcome for the laws against smoking in public buildings, etc.”

Huh, I was there a few months ago and witnessed people smoking weed on the streets and in parks.

“Do you support the female circumcision ban that is currently federal law? ”

Gotta love people who change try to change the subject to try to make a point.


May 27th, 2011
8:49 am

I think circumcision is required in the Jewish religion. Charges of being anti-Jewish should put a stop to this.

Dr. Pangloss

May 27th, 2011
9:45 am

If this passes, there is very little chance of its surviving a court challenge. Just another non-problem.

As for circumcision being barbaric and unnecessary, that question may never be settled. Sometimes boys have to be circumcised in their late teens or early twenties because of an infection. It hurts like Hell to have it done at that age. (I know this second-hand, thank you.)


May 27th, 2011
9:52 am

Looks like David Lane and Steve don’t know what they’re talking about.


May 27th, 2011
9:57 am

The most “Bizarro” thing out there is people that disconect part of a baby boys sensory system. Baby boy penis part removal cuts the connection of thousands of fine touch and strtech nerve endings from the brain. It also removes a huge amount of erogeous tissue and changes the dynamic aspects of the boys penis FOR LIFE! What parent would remove sexual function and pleasure from the life of their issue?

Baby boy penis part removal should already be considered illegal under the 1996 federal law banning genital cutting — 14th Amendment equal protection clause.Those saying that preventing the cutting off of penis parts of a baby boy violates the cutter’s freedom of religion, are way out there in irrational land. One’s religion ends where their knife touches another human’s body. The idea that another human’s ritual (rite) trumps ones right to body parts is insane and creepy. Baby boy penis parts removal cuts off thousands of fine touch and stretch nerves. This is like disconnecting the fingertips or lips from the brain. No human should be subjected to sensory system harm as well as a forced decrease of sexual function and PLEASURE for life!


May 27th, 2011
10:05 am

“If you don’t want to circumcise your kids, then don’t. Leave the rest of us alone” OF COURSE!

The AJC Stinks

May 27th, 2011
10:35 am

Bob, it’s all part of the on going National War on Men, carried out by crazy women and men of questionable masculinity. I try to ignore both, and pledge to never, ever help any of them with anything, ever.


May 27th, 2011
11:48 am

I really don’t understand why you are so worried about a city that is located on the other side of the country. Maybe what you need to worry about is what is going on in this state instead of writing these snarly type of articles that have nothing to do with Georgia. What a waste of your time and it sure is a waste of mine to read this elementary, personal attack on people that are in another state on the opposite coast. Either start writing articles of value, or quit writing.


May 27th, 2011
12:02 pm

I’m a little surprised Bob doesn’t like this law because it is a law that protects the self-determination of people who don’t have a choice, as an infant, as to whether they want to modify their body. A ban on circumcision protects the future free-choice of these infants.


May 27th, 2011
12:44 pm

When liberals get real power, San Francisco is what you get.

Native Atlantan

May 27th, 2011
12:55 pm

“Baby boy penis part…”? Good God….let’s learn to speak like adults first before we express an opinion. I’m as liberal as they come and I think this is absurd. I don’t seem to have lost any of my, ahem, sensitivity without the foreskin. All seems to carry on quite well.


May 27th, 2011
1:11 pm

Sometimes Bob is right-on and this is one of those times. As to commentator above talking about Peter and Paul’s views, I feel that he knows that it was more like years rather than 20 minutes after Jesus that circumcision became a Christian issue. Remember, early Christians were essentially 1 of a number of Jewish sects and so circumcision was required as for all good Jews. Scholars have noted that Paul was having trouble gaining converts among gentiles when grown men were told they would have to circumcise their peni as a condition. Ouch, I understand! He decided to drop the requirement, which caused a huge rucus both in Christian and Jewish circles but it proved to be 1 of the greatest marketing strategies of all times. Christian enrollment shot up and the rest is history.


May 27th, 2011
1:23 pm

“When liberals get real power, San Francisco is what you get.”

Not to mention Detroit.


May 27th, 2011
1:25 pm

Those uncircumcised penises look pretty weird. I’ll take my throbbing purple-veined hammerhead love self-guided missile over that ardvark lookin’ smegma carrying wrap, now that it’s said and done.

Good article Bob. These Progressives are a bunch of authoritarian lunatics.

Dick Johnson

May 27th, 2011
1:39 pm

SF is a great city to visit, but for anyone who chooses to live there this kind of stuff comes with the territory. If enough sensible residents grow a spine and push back against the craziness they can re-take their lovely city.


May 27th, 2011
1:48 pm

Circumcision is not required. Was and keep your foreskin clean.. no disease. Men, forget women, how can you benefit sexually… foreskin keeps your penis sensitive and you can enjoy your sex more. Women will get their share anyway. Men need the pleasure too and that pleasure is there if you don’t circumcise. God has thought a lot about human body and the way he made..don’t go chopping your skin off, instead take care of it. Be a Man!


May 27th, 2011
1:56 pm

pachi smells like smegma.


May 27th, 2011
2:04 pm

I think we need a survey among prostitutes as to whether a man with a foreskin shows as much or more orgasm than a man without. I figure it won’t make any difference at all. The object of the operation is cleanliness. Show me a man who pulls his foreskin back and cleans it every time he takes a whiz, and I will show you a unicorn. Having seen both the knob and wrap versions, I vote for the knob.

Boney Maroney

May 27th, 2011
2:05 pm

Snip-Snip, see you later foreskin.

Ron Jeremy

May 27th, 2011
2:41 pm

First off, the “cutting” of foreskin has changed somewhat. Now, the skin is sewn and fall off after a few days.

As for San Francisco being what you get when a city is run by liberals… if that’s the case, give me liberals! San Francisco is probably the nicest city in the US. Picturesque, great tourist attraction, all kinds of great sights to see, some of the nation’s highest property values, best food in the nation, possibly the world. Anybody who doesn’t like San Francisco couldn’t have been there. It kicks ass!


May 27th, 2011
2:43 pm

Ahh, the TOLERANT crowd at their best. Tolerant of anything they agree with, and intolerant of anything they don’t. Hmm, doesn’t that, once again, make them…………..intolerant? Of course.

What a bunch of hypocrites, as usual.


May 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

WOW had better not visit San Francisco wearing a turtle neck, he might get arrested.


May 27th, 2011
3:40 pm

Pachi you are abosultely right, had it done when i was 42 for the wifey, and things were never the same, not even close, but doing it as an infant, he’ll never know what he’s missing….advise not to do it as adult unless you have to….


May 27th, 2011
4:11 pm

The law, if passed will never stand up to a ‘Freedom of Religion” case.
Besides, we need those little smucks!
Where else would the leather shops get the material to make wallets,
which, when rubbed just right grow into big suitcases?


May 27th, 2011
4:16 pm

This is being pushed by the PC crowd in San Fran. They want to save the trees, but not the hardwoods.


May 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

“I don’t seem to have lost any of my, ahem, sensitivity without the foreskin. All seems to carry on quite well.” So you don’t know you are missing thousands of fine touch and stretch nerve endings? So you don’t know that ED hits cut men at a much younger age than natural penis men?

Most of the worlds men are natural. That allows people to have natural sex, the way we evolved to have it. Circumcision is a weird thing — a cutting off of the main male pleasure zones. This is tons of pleasure giving nerves, blood vessels, protective covering and pleasure zones. The dynamics of the penis is changed for good. This is serious genital modification (mutilation) of the male with more nerves cut than female circumcision. It does lead men to want oral and anal more, because vaginal sex is less satisfying after the cut of these parts. Cut men have more premature ejaculation issues as the scar is now the most sensitive part and they have lost control of orgasm timing. It leads to sexual dysfunction at a young age. The cut men in the world use most of the VIAGRA consumed.

What a horrible thing to do to a baby. A free society would allow men to have all of their body parts until they reach the age of majority.

Gerald West

May 27th, 2011
5:06 pm

It’s silly to legislate such a thing, of course. But why blame it on “liberals”? Liberals believe in liberty, the right of every citizen to conduct his life as he sees fit, so long as his actions don’t encroach on the rights of others. That’s why they’re called liberals, get it?

Blame it on the people who believe that the purpose of government is to restrict the rights of citizens on social and medical issues like marriage, reproduction, and death. They’re wackos, commonly called conservatives or Republicans.

Defrocking Department

May 27th, 2011
6:25 pm

Will the real Bishop Eddie Long please come out of the closet?


May 27th, 2011
6:50 pm

“WOW had better not visit San Francisco wearing a turtle neck, he might get arrested.”

Don’t worry troglodyte, I don’t plan on visiting the butt pirate city by the bay anytime soon.


May 27th, 2011
6:54 pm

“As for San Francisco being what you get when a city is run by liberals… if that’s the case, give me liberals!”

Delta is ready when you are, Gump.


May 27th, 2011
7:00 pm

Gerald West: “It’s silly to legislate such a thing, of course.” But not silly to legislate the exactly corresponding protection of baby girls? Which we do. In fact the aim of this bill could be achieved nationally by deleting one word (”female”) from the heading of Title 18 USC S 116: and adding one word to the text:

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris or foreskin of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(subsection b is the exception for medical need.)
Notice it says “or any part”, not just horrific African tribal customs.

“Liberals believe in liberty, the right of every citizen to conduct his life as he sees fit, so long as his actions don’t encroach on the rights of others.”
And cutting part of a non-consenting person’s genitals off certainly does encroach on his rights. This is not a social or medical issue like marriage, reproduction or death. It’s an entiraly individual issue.


May 27th, 2011
10:31 pm

A good mother of an uncircimcised boy must pull back the foreskin and lean the penis with each boy’s diaper change. Annoying for the mother, and also annoying for the child.

An extra piece of work for the Mom, that isn’t needed. Circumcision is cleaner and easier for all men.

Both Islam and Judaism require circumcision of boys. I’m not sure how San Francisco will get around the legal and moral entanglements of both the Torah and the Koran. God usually seems to have a pretty good legal team, and always has the last word.

It would also be amusing to ask potential juros to publically drop trow before being selected, to see if they are or if they are not circumcised. After all, that could influence their decision, if not landing them a five yard penalty for clipping.

Cathy Lynn

May 28th, 2011
2:22 am

Bob- Make the argument? This just looks like posturing without it.
Wow- Hate much? Makes your argument look inane. And how is bringing up female circumcision changing the subject?

To me, it’s child abuse. Pure and simple. And I’ve not heard a good argument here on why we should be cutting our sons’ genitals? What’s the argument?


May 28th, 2011
7:27 am

Wow. I don’t support a ban on circ; its up to the parents to make that decision. But I didn’t circ my boy. I decided to let him make the choice whether he wanted it when he became a man. He’s 13 now and the only problem he’s really had is “growing” pains. No infections or anything like that.

And I kind of like the fact many women are so adverse to an uncirc’d penis. So maybe the little girls will go “ewwwww” and not give my kid any before he’s ready. hee-hee

Besides, I’ll never forget seeing my little brother get circ’d. The door was cracked and I could see they were holding him arms and legs down and he was screaming his little head off, scared and in pain. I decided then if I had a boy, I’d never let him go through anything like that. Sure, they don’t remember it but why put a baby boy through all that the first few days of his life?

And, for the record, female circ is not the same as male circ. They actually cut off the clitoris and/or sew up the yoni, i.e., MUTILATION. This would be akin to cutting off the head of the penis and/or sewing up the hole so these two don’t compare.


May 28th, 2011
7:34 am

“A good mother of an uncircimcised boy must pull back the foreskin and lean the penis with each boy’s diaper change. Annoying for the mother, and also annoying for the child.”

LeeH1 -

I’m a good mother of an uncirc’d boy and my doctor advised against pulling back the foreskin on a baby boy. I mean, think about it. He’s not having sex, he’s not getting BJs; he’s a baby! Worked for us.


May 28th, 2011
9:12 am

I completely disagree that San Francisco banning circumcision of minors is ‘a bridge too far’. I would actually say that it’s not going far enough – it needs to be banned in the whole of the USA, not just SF. Intactivists are not left-wing extremists – they are simply ethical, thoughtful people who oppose the medically unjustified and potentially fatal (300 boys die from circumcision in the USA every year, by the way!) mutilation of children. America needs to wake up and realize the colossal harm they are doing to their little boys by circumcising – it has no medical benefits, is no more hygienic than washing with plain water, actually REDUCES penile health and makes the boy more prone to infections, causes lifelong sexual dysfunction and psychological problems, and is catastrophically painful for him as it is done with inadequate or no anesthetic. The USA is pretty much the only country that routinely mutilates its babies in this fashion – nearly all the others have stopped, and some European nations have even outlawed it!

Oh and by the way, parents who would circumcise their boy to save him ten seconds (if that) in the shower every morning need to watch a circumcision and listen to the screams of agony. Then see if you’d still rather he didn’t have to wash as frequently.


May 28th, 2011
10:02 am

300 boys die from circumcision in the US every year? I call B.S. I want to see a government site report on that. And for the “good mother” who never cleans under her infant son’s foreskin: has he ever had one of those :major blow-out” BM’s that fills his diaper with excretement. Maybe some of that got on his penis? Boys (and men) do get maojor infections if that part is not kept clean. See my earlier post concerning my father.

Again, if you don’t want to circumcise your son, it’s your business. But laws taking away the right for a parent to decide the best medical care for their children is not right. What if the anti-vaccination people have their way and make it illegal for you to get your child vaccinated until they are 18 and can decide for themselves. Won’t protect them much from childhood diseases.


May 28th, 2011
10:03 am

And by the way, I was there at my son’s circumcision and I didn’t hear any “screams of agony”. Did he cry – yes – for about a minute. He cried more when he was slapped on the feet following his delivery of when his diaper was full.


May 28th, 2011
10:10 am

Wiswell looked at the complication rates of having or not having circumcision performed in a study of 136,000 boys born in US army hospitals between 1980 and 1985. 100,000 were circumcised and 193 (0.19%) had complications, mostly minor, with no deaths, but of the 36,000 who were not circumcised the problems were more than ten-times higher and there were 2 deaths [Wiswell & Hachey, 1993].

A study by others found that of the 11,000 circumcisions performed at New York’s Sloane Hospital in 1989, only 6 led to complications, none of which were fatal [Russell, 1993]. An early survey saw only one death amongst 566,483 baby boys circumcised in New York between 1939 and 1951 [National, 2003].

There are no deaths today from medical circumcisions in developed countries.

Very similar to the study by Wiswell above, it was found that of 354,297 infants born in Washington State from 1987-96, only 0.20% had a complication arising from their circumcision, i.e., 1 in every 476 circumcisions [Christakis et al., 2000]. Most of these ‘complications’ were minor and readily treated. It was concluded that 6 urinary tract infections could be prevented for every circumcision complication, and 2 complications can be expected for every penile cancer prevented [Christakis et al., 2000].


May 28th, 2011
12:11 pm

Driving circumcision underground will also be a mistake. Jewish and Moslem families will continue to practice this rite, even if it is outlawed. As a result, unclean circumcisions and botched jobs will be performed by amateurs trying to beat the law. This is the same mistake that outlawing abortions will commit. Outlawing it will not make the practice stop- it will only drive it underground.

A better deal would be to simply make circumcision an optional procedure, not covered by insurance. Then if the family wants it, they will have to pay for it out of their own pockets.

the watch dog

May 28th, 2011
1:51 pm

I cannot believe that this story was worthy of space. I have been trying to tie it to 4th amendment rights and it is way too bizzare. That being said, from a legal point of view it is invasion of privacy, I mean really, how much worse can it get. I simply cannot give this topic any dignity. Tony Bennett left his heart in San Fran, he needs a new song, This has gone beyond the pale. If this law is past, how can it be repealed, the 21st amendment repealed prohibition. What amendment can repeal circumcision?


May 28th, 2011
2:43 pm

“And for the “good mother” who never cleans under her infant son’s foreskin: has he ever had one of those :major blow-out” BM’s that fills his diaper with excretement. Maybe some of that got on his penis? Boys (and men) do get maojor infections if that part is not kept clean.”

Nope, never had any infections or diaper rash or anything like that. And I was watching closely because in my ignorance, I too believed it should be pulled back and cleaned. But like I said, we didn’t have any problems with it. The foreskin fits so snuggly over the penis head, hardly anything can get to it. And if you don’t have an M.D. after your name, I’ll take the word of my doctor over yours.

And comparing vaccinnations to this issue missing the mark. Injecting dead diseases into your child, boy OR girl, to build up their tolerance against those diseases is quite different than cutting off a piece of flesh of only the baby boys. And yes, my son is current on his shots.

I don’t understand why its so “unclean” and “unhealthy” in this day and age when baby boys have been born with foreskins since the beginning of time. Do we cut anything off baby girls’ bodies? No. That skin is there for a reason and once its gone, its gone. But if that’s your choice for your boy, you have the right to do what you want and I don’t have a say in it.