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January 22, 2011

San Francisco Jew Tries To Ban Circumcision

Golden Gate Bridge At Lloyd Schofield's website that presents the proposed bill banning circumcision and a picture of a happy baby, Schofield calls for the residents’ support that “will help us to protect all infants and children in San Francisco from the pain and harm caused by forced genital cutting," adding that "damage ranges from excruciating pain, nerve destruction, loss of normal, natural and functional tissue, infection, disfigurement and sometimes death." According to the bill, performing circumcision will be made a misdemeanor punished by a 1000 dollars fine or jail time for up to a year, or both.


San Francisco man hopes to bring about ban on circumcision
Lloyd Schofield has to collect 7,200 to qualify the bill for a ballot later this year; local rabbi: It’s about the fragility of life and most people support it.
By Natasha Mozgovaya • Ha’aretz

Golden Gate Bridge In a country where bris is many times a default choice not only for Jewish parents for their baby boys, it was natural to expect some people to protest the practice. These groups are called “intactionists” or “intactivists”.

There are even a few Jewish religious figures that do not object or actively support providing nervous parents with a baby naming ritual without circumcision if they are not sure about the circumcision.

In addition to the annual protests of "intactivists" in several cities in the United States, - in San-Francisco, there is sort of escalation of their fight with proposals to ban circumcision submitted to van impressive number of local lawmakers.

Most rejected or ignored the proposal; in Massachusetts the bill failed, and one of the places that got most coverage on the issue was San-Francisco, where last autumn, city resident Lloyd Schofield started to collect signatures in order to put a proposal to outlaw the procedure on a city ballot in November 2011.

The prospect is not a total non-starter, for he needs only about 7,200 signatures to qualify the bill for the ballot, and in San-Francisco there are plenty of “intactivists”.

At his website that presents the proposed bill and a picture of a happy baby, Schofield calls for the residents’ support that “will help us to protect all infants and children in San Francisco from the pain and harm caused by forced genital cutting," adding that "damage ranges from excruciating pain, nerve destruction, loss of normal, natural and functional tissue, infection, disfigurement and sometimes death."

According to the bill, performing circumcision will be made a misdemeanor punished by a 1000 dollars fine or jail time for up to a year, or both.

The only exception in Schofield's vision will be made if the surgical operation "is 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, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner."

The parents in the United States can't totally make up their mind, and physicians are more hesitant to give them a recommendation. According to a quite recent report, in 2006 65% of the male babies were circumcised in the US (Jewish population is only about 2%), however, in 2009 the numbers dropped to 32.5%.

As one could expect, the Jewish community leaders are not really happy about the initiative.

"I think it's horrible," Rabbi Micah Hyman of the Conservative synagogue Beth Sholom in San Francisco told Haaretz.

"It's not a brutal ritual, it's emotional and deep but it's very powerful," Hyman said, adding, "It's religious freedom, a cornerstone of our tradition, something that will always be a part of the tradition."

"Last quarter they tried to ban "Happy Meals" in McDonalds, now they are trying to legislate morality? I believe it has very little support, I think people talk about it only because of the media coverage," the San Francisco rabbi added.

Speaking of the support rate he felt existed for the prospected ban, Hyman said he didn't "have mohels calling me, saying 'help me,' and I don’t have people questioning it."

"It’s the fragility of life and most people support it. If it will pass, I’ll defeat it in the courts, and if there will be no choice I’ll take it to the Supreme Court," Hyman said, adding that the move was "not a popular decision to legislate other peoples morality, and what makes me particularly upset is that our city government has so much other issues to deal with – drug addiction, HIV, homeless, health issues. This is a personal religious decision it has nothing to do with why we put them in office."

Related Posts: 1, 2.

Comments

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Some girls i know would not put an uncut penis in their mouth but gay men seem to actually like it

i heard some are fine with eliminating the actual cutting but demanded to be able to continue the custom of metzizah b'peh.

*According to the bill, performing circumcision will be made a misdemeanor punished by a 1000 dollars fine or jail time for up to a year, or both.*

I can just picture the police breaking down the doors of a shul and with guns drawn saying "You are all under arrest for performing and/or being a party to the performance of an illegal circumcision.

I think Mr Schofield's problem is that in his case the Mohel cut "it" off and he is trying to get even.

This will never go through. The Muslims will protest against it and right now they're the most politically correct group out there.

This story is months old and Schofield isn't Jewish.

This story is months old and Schofield isn't Jewish.

Posted by: Mr. Apikoros | January 23, 2011 at 05:57 AM

1. If by "this story" you mean Schofield's attempt to ban circumcision, you're correct. Of course, anyone could see that by clicking on the either of the two related posts links I had posted above.

2. As for "not Jewish," at least one San Francisco Orthodox rabbi disagrees with you:

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/us/28bcshort.html

[Rabbi] Trager said he is not worried about an initiative to ban circumcision of boys in San Francisco, which may land on the November 2011 ballot. “I don’t think some naughty Jewish guy with a chip on his shoulder is going to bring ritual circumcision down,” Mr. Trager said, listing dictators like Hitler and Stalin who tried to forbid the practice.

The initiative is being circulated by a retired hotel credit manager, Lloyd Schofield, and needs 7,100 signatures to qualify for the ballot, a relatively easy task in a city with more than 800,000 residents. Mr. Schofield says the initiative is needed to protect children from what he calls “forced genital cutting.”

Well, the only thing you added to this is your claim that this guy is Jewish, which isn't mentioned in the article you lifted from Ha'aretz, nor in your previous posts. It's just another of your feeble attempts to insult me for having the temerity to stand up to the Mighty Scotty the Great and All-Powerful.

Last November, when the story about this self-righteous minder of other people's business first was reported on, I was curious whether Schofield was Jewish, and found that he belongs to a group called Catholics Against Circumcision.

Therefore, I conclude that Schofield is as Jewish as Jorge Torres Puello. At least Torres Puello attempted to masquerade as a Jew.

Last November, when the story about this self-righteous minder of other people's business first was reported on, I was curious whether Schofield was Jewish, and found that he belongs to a group called Catholics Against Circumcision.

No.

What you "found" is that Schofield friended Catholics Against Circumcision on Facebook, and that was mentioned in a very brief (about 500 words, I'd guess) profile of him done by a newspaper.

Friending an anti-circumcision group when you are an anti-circumcision activist does not make you a member of that group or a follower of that group's religion.

That's not what I found. I didn't look on his Facebook page. I also read somewhere that he went to Catholic school.

I also read the comment by this rabbi, whom I'll bet never met Schofield.

But by all means, keep making a fool of yourself, Mr. Sometimes Right but Never in Doubt.

I merely pointed out that a profile says he friended that group on Facebook.

That profile is high up on his Google search results.

I'll read through several more to see what I can find.

Well, so far I find no mention of him attending a Catholic school or being Catholic.

The only direct mention of his religion I can find is that quote fron Orthodox rabbi - mohel in the NY Times that says he is Jewish.

Mr. Apikoros,
I have agreed with you on many of your posts; I like your practicality and matter-of-factness. However, this back and forth nonsense with the blogmeister and primary school level name calling is something that ought to be beneath you.
When is the "big one" going to arrive and finally shear off the entire fucked up state of California so that the rest of the world can have an end to it.

"According to the bill, performing circumcision will be made a misdemeanor punished by a 1000 dollars fine or jail time for up to a year, or both.

"The only exception in Schofield's vision will be made if the surgical operation "is 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, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner."

This is cut-and-pasted from existing law against female genital cutting. And if you say "Yes, but that's much worse", last year the AAP flirted with allowing a token ritual nick to girls "much less extensive than male genital cutting" and the uproar was so great they had to back down. So why the double standard?

Actually, I agree with Shmarya far more than disagree. But his attitude that only he is right rubs me the wrong way. Shmarya needs a Boswell to keep him honest, and to keep his blog from self-destructing.

You know the worst thing about this blog? It brings out the worst in us. Of course most Haredim aren't evil (they are misguided by definition), but you wouldn't know it from this blog because Shmarya cherry-picks.

Since we're all scrappers, and as most Jews aren't big drinkers so we don't get into too many bar fights, we fight here. The dental repair bills are smaller.

Hey, as Harold z"l said, this blog is entertainment. We shouldn't be taking ourselves too seriously, starting with the blogmeister.

Hugh7 (or is it Notsohugh2?):

The main difference is that the purpose of female circumcision is to deny pleasure to the woman. Male circumcision is for hygenic and sometimes religious reasons, and there is no effect on sensation. As you almost certainly know, cervical cancer is extremely rare when the male sex partner is circumcised. So there's no double standard, except in the eyes of a bunch of lefty dogooders.

It's interesting that it's the gay community which is most up in arms over circumcision.

Give these commies an inch, and they'll take a mile. Now they want the inch back.

>Harold z"l

How do you know this???

Good for you, Lloyd Schofield.

People, who genitally mutilate little babies are sick.

People who genitally mutilate little babies in the name of imaginary supernatural abominations are sick, sick, sick.

Oh the stupid jews can never do anything without mentioning hitler or the holocaust. take your stupid animal fucking customs and get the hell of out america.

That was a joke, Yoel. He's z"l because he's "dead" to this blog, unless he's resurrected himself under another name.

What happened to separation of church
and state ?

What happened to separation of church
and state ?

Posted by: chabib |

separation does not give you the right to break laws. that is why polygamy is illegal even when someones religion permits or commands it. likewise one cant have sex with a minor child despite any claim of religious right to do so.
here too, if there would be no compelling medical rationale, circumcision should be illegal since the infant has no say. if an 18 year old chose to do so, that would be fine. and that is something i never thought i would say or feel, but whats right and moral trumps religion and superstition.

LOL San Francisco

Also, if you ban the bris, then you might as well ban immunization, cochlear implants, accidentally stubbing your own toe, braces, putting your hearing aids on, plucking splinters out, tattoos (not that Orthodox Jews would care about that one), ear piercing, etc. Female genital mutilation is something different entirely, as it's done to restrict female freedom and often involves much more of the genitalia than the bris does.

Apikoros: The "purpose" of FGM is not evident. Don't be so quick to assume that all forms of FGM prevent women from enjoying sex. Many African women who have undergone the procedure deny that it has impaired their marital lives.

Ritual circumcision has a religious purpose. The now defunct Schofield initiative was aimed at the very large number of secular routine circumcisions performed in the USA. These secular circumcisions have no demonstrated prophylactic purpose. There is no evidence that intact Japan and Europe have more urological or STD problems than the circumcised USA. It is not true that the wives of circumcised men rarely have cervical cancer. It is true that women whose morals conform to the Torah, married to men who are equally chaste, very seldom get cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is, in effect, an STD caused by certain forms of the HPV.

Circumcision removes parts of the male body that has the densest nervous system. From this fact, it is fair to assume that circumcised men have reduced sensation especially in later life.

It is true that American gay men are often foreskin friendly. There are joined by a growing number of sexually sophisticated women. What straight women and gay men have in common is that they are both end users of the penis, and as such can easily compare cut and intact. More and more people who have made that comparison are blogging about it, and this anecdotal evidence is not kind to circumcision.

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