San Francisco May Vote On Male Circumcision Ban

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Getty Images / Tom Williams/Roll Call

David Wilson of Florida holds a demonstration on the west front lawn against infant circumcision.

An activist group in San Francisco collected more than the required number of signatures necessary to bring a proposal for a ban on male circumcision to voters.

After gaining nearly twice as many signatures needed, backers of the ballot measure submitted the proposal to the city’s Department of Elections. If the city decides it qualifies, the proposal will appear on the ballot of the November election and make it a misdemeanor to circumcise boys under the age of 18.

(More on Read the debate over circumcision)

59-year-old Lloyd Schofield, a leader of the movement, told Reuters that the process is, “excruciatingly painful and permanently damaging surgery that’s forced on men when they’re at their weakest and most vulnerable.”

Legal experts dispute the constitutionality of the law in question. Some say that because circumcision is a common religious practice, banning it would limit freedom of religion while others argue that “religions don’t get a free pass.” The San Francisco Department of Elections has 30 days to review the proposal and decide whether it should be added to the ballot.

(More on See the top 10 ballot measures)