The Unkindest Cut? Gay Men v. Male Ci...

The Unkindest Cut? Gay Men v. Male Circumcision

There are 927 comments on the EDGE story from May 30, 2011, titled The Unkindest Cut? Gay Men v. Male Circumcision. In it, EDGE reports that:

In what will be a first for the nation, San Francisco voters will consider a controversial ballot measure to ban circumcision for males under the age of 18 in the November election.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at EDGE.

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Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#1 May 30, 2011
If this passes, parents will take the law to court on religious grounds and proponents will respond:

"... circumcision traumatizes infants, sometimes results in their deaths, suppresses feelings in the penis and interferes with sexual pleasure and performance. They also point out that the vast majority (perhaps 85 percent) of males in other countries are uncut."

It will be interesting because courts have already sided against parents who believe in faith healing and do not call in doctors when their children are sick. This is when there is an overwhelming medical need for treatment. What are the courts going to say when there is no such need, as in circumcision?

I've often wondered why insurance companies pay for circumcisions, an elective surgery.
Dogma Doctor

Alpharetta, GA

#2 May 30, 2011
The easy way to handle the issue is to make ownership of a circumcised child a felony offense punished by buck naked public hanging of both parents and the mutilating doctor; until dead
.
That will eliminate court blather from the religious nutjobs.......
.
.......and save the child from further abuse at the hands of perverted straight people who get their jollies mutilating sex organs of innocent children

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#4 May 30, 2011
Alas, it was taken out of my hands, so to speak. On occasion, however, males HAVE to be circumcised, due to medical issues, or infection, or on occasion the skin is too tight. How will they get around that law then?
hoodathunkit

Greenville, OH

#7 May 30, 2011
Curteese wrote:
Alas, it was taken out of my hands, so to speak. On occasion, however, males HAVE to be circumcised, due to medical issues, or infection, or on occasion the skin is too tight. How will they get around that law then?
The issues you mention are usually found in adults. Infection is a symptom of uncleanliness. Whether it's a build up of filth or a tear in the skin that becomes infected, it can be avoided by simply washing daily and keeping it clean. There is a condition that causes tightening of the skin (usually later in life). In those cases, doctors usually recommend circumcision. It's not a matter of getting around the law. The law is meant to stop circumcision of infants. An adult could still elect to be circumcised and circumcision could still be performed for valid medical reasons. I will be surprised if there isn't some religious exemption made to the law. Jews and Muslims have deeply rooted religious convictions surrounding circumcision.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#8 May 30, 2011
I think we're delightful.
Guiles wrote:
You queers sure are disgusting.

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#9 May 30, 2011
Guiles wrote:
You queers sure are disgusting.
At least I HAVE a dick, unlike that little bump with a hole in it that you got going there, dirt eater.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#10 May 30, 2011
"Religious convictions"? That's exactly what was said of Christian Scientists when they didn't want doctors treating their children. It didn't fly when there was a medical necessity and I doubt it will fly with an elective surgery.
hoodathunkit wrote:
<quoted text>
...Jews and Muslims have deeply rooted religious convictions surrounding circumcision.

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#11 May 30, 2011
SFer wrote:
I think we're delightful.
<quoted text>
If you have time one of these days, could you spin by Peet's Coffee on Market Street, just below Castro? It is my favorite spot in your lovey City, especially the bay window on a sunny windy day! Thanks, in return, I will have a margarita for YOU at the Blue Coyote here in PS.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#12 May 30, 2011
Whoduthunkit got it exactly right. Those problems rarely, if ever, occur in infants.

While I haven't read the text of the proposition, therapeutic circumcision will probably still be allowed.
Curteese wrote:
Alas, it was taken out of my hands, so to speak. On occasion, however, males HAVE to be circumcised, due to medical issues, or infection, or on occasion the skin is too tight. How will they get around that law then?
Alan Perchick

Freehold, NJ

#13 May 30, 2011
The religious right talks about getting big government out of our lives, yet they are quick to place government between women and their doctors concerning abortion. The same goes for circumsicion. Whether for religious or non-reigious reasons government should keep its nose out of the argument. Anyway, it's been shown in scientific studies that the circunsiced penis is less likely to acquire or harbor HIV and other infections (herpes, chlymidia and gonnerehia.)
hoodathunkit

Greenville, OH

#14 May 30, 2011
SFer wrote:
"Religious convictions"? That's exactly what was said of Christian Scientists when they didn't want doctors treating their children. It didn't fly when there was a medical necessity and I doubt it will fly with an elective surgery.
<quoted text>
While I understand the connection between the two issues, they will most likely be looked at in different contexts. It would make sense for the courts to view circumcision as unnecessary. However, the courts will most likely take into consideration religious freedom and thousands of years of tradition and religious conviction. The courts viewed the deaths of children due to a lack of medical attention as child abuse and neglect. That doesn't automatically mean that the court will view circumcision as a form of mutilation, child abuse, or child endangerment. It would not surprise me if the courts decide that circumcision would be allowed on religious grounds.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#15 May 30, 2011
Even if San Francisco was to institute this proposed ban on circumcision, people would merely go outside the city limits to have it done. It's not going to stop people doing it.

I must admit that I'm a bit conflicted on this. I think the best idea is to prohibit it for any male under say 16 or 18 years of age. That way they can decide for themselves at what I think is an appropriate age.

This practice has been so ingrained in our culture for te past 100 years, that many people are going to have very different opinios about it.

Let guys decide on theiir own when they are 16 or 18 years old.

I was circumsized at birth, in the mid-50's because that was simply the routine. But my father didn't get circumsized until the 70's when he was in his forties.

“IMHO....”

Since: Jan 08

Here and there

#16 May 30, 2011
Alan Perchick wrote:
The religious right talks about getting big government out of our lives, yet they are quick to place government between women and their doctors concerning abortion. The same goes for circumsicion. Whether for religious or non-reigious reasons government should keep its nose out of the argument. Anyway, it's been shown in scientific studies that the circunsiced penis is less likely to acquire or harbor HIV and other infections (herpes, chlymidia and gonnerehia.)
So that boy's autonomy should be ignored for elective genital mutilation without his consent instead of allowing him to make that informed decision as an adult? Where's your emergency? Quick, before he can think for himself? Good going, Kitty Genovese!

... predictably followed closely by the ole "Circumcision - It's easier than soap and water" rejoinder from the usual correlation-not-causation "scientists".

If modifying these adults' practices has any chance of success, it should be that the real goal is that no child should have elective genital mutilation, male or female. Just mention female genital mutilation, and suddenly that's abhorrent - yet really no different. I understand the rare medical reasons for doing this, but unfortunately, religulous mysticism will still be legitimized and infants will still be mangled because that's somehow OK....

“ TRUTH : NOT EXPEDIENCE”

Since: Nov 07

town near Jax, Fl

#17 May 30, 2011
Interesting that in the gayest city in the country a law is being proposed that would eliminate a 'religious freedom' in order to accentuate the sexual feeling coming from a man's penis. Who would be more interested in that than a majority gay population? It is a well known fact that an uncircumcised penis is more sensitive and we gays are known for our 'sensitivity'.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#18 May 30, 2011
It violates the religious rights of Jews. Also any other religious group that adheres to circumcision.

A stupid idea.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#19 May 30, 2011
DNF wrote:
It violates the religious rights of Jews. Also any other religious group that adheres to circumcision.
A stupid idea.
Then why is female circumcison illegal ? Can't a person use the same "religious" argument to defend female circumcision ?

Why is it ok to curcumsize a male, but not a female ? Are you going to rely solely on saying "Well, it's a tradition" ?

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#20 May 30, 2011
Frank Stanton wrote:
<quoted text>
Then why is female circumcison illegal ? Can't a person use the same "religious" argument to defend female circumcision ?
Why is it ok to curcumsize a male, but not a female ? Are you going to rely solely on saying "Well, it's a tradition" ?
The difference is in the degree of mutilation. Male circumcision may lower sexual response slightly but does not preculde it. Cutting off a woman's clitoris practically does.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#21 May 30, 2011
JohnInToronto wrote:
<quoted text>
The difference is in the degree of mutilation. Male circumcision may lower sexual response slightly but does not preculde it. Cutting off a woman's clitoris practically does.
I realize that and I'm not in favor of legalizing female circumcison. But how can one justify male circumcision if one is agaainst female circumcision ? As I said before, are you going to merely relay upon saying, "Well, it's a tradition," ? If so, that is hardly a logcal defense of what many people believe to be a barbaric practice.

And remember that in the religious tradtion of Christians, the majority religion in the U.S., circumcison is not required, and even when performed on Christians, it is NOT a religious thing at all, as it is with the Jews.

So how do you defend it ?!

(For te record, I was circumsized at birth, and until very recently was always adamant that I was glad that I am, but lately, I've been reconsidering my position.

I think it should be left up to the person being circumsized, and it should be banned for any boy less than 16 years old. That's my opinion.

Since: Dec 07

Location hidden

#22 May 30, 2011
Will do. Maybe during Pride week. It's lovely to sit and watch the worl go by.
Curteese wrote:
<quoted text>If you have time one of these days, could you spin by Peet's Coffee on Market Street, just below Castro? It is my favorite spot in your lovey City, especially the bay window on a sunny windy day! Thanks, in return, I will have a margarita for YOU at the Blue Coyote here in PS.

“God made in the image of man”

Since: May 07

Sausalito, CA

#23 May 30, 2011
SFer wrote:
Will do. Maybe during Pride week. It's lovely to sit and watch the worl go by.
<quoted text>
One way of putting this issue in perspective, is by considering a practice among some African tribes to carve several vertical lines in the cheeks of boys -- for religious reasons (to ward off evil spirits). As they grow up the scars become more pronounced, up to 1/4" in width (similar to the size of the scar left on the penis by circumcision). I have personally witnessed this practice.

Now, should SUCH ritualistic mutilation of children be permitted in a civilized country? Or would such parents be liable for child abuse? It is a religious practice, after all. Is it any different than male circumcision?

The 'hygiene' argument has pretty much been debunked. Yes, it can slow down the transmission of HIV in African countries, but only because many of those people lack proper facilities to bathe regularly. Besides, as the article points out, the vast percentage of the world's male population is uncircumcised, and for some strange reason they do not experience the 'hygiene' issues that are reported in the US. If hygiene is the criterion, then why don't we cut off babies ears at birth so they won't ever have to wash behind them?!(I'm being facetious.)

Aesthetics is a separate issue. Many Americans prefer the look of a circumcised penis, but only because that's what they're accustomed to. That's their right. Once again, no-one forbids circumcision when practiced by adults on themselves. It's their own choice, not unlike tattoos and body piercings. But ritualistically mutilating children's sex organs soon after birth is an entirely different matter. Some adults in Africa amputate a little finger after losing a parent. But should they be allowed to amputate babies' fingers for religious reasons? If it is a purely a matter of degree, where will one draw the line?

What is the principle involved, and does Society have any responsibility when such practices are taking place in its midst? Are there any similarities between the practice of male or female circumcision of infants, and other social customs such as dog fights and cock fights?

But it's an emotional issue for some, because it's in the Bible. But it's also in the Bible that Kind David's men cut off all the foreskins of the Philistines they killed on the battlefield, and brought them to David in big bags as proof of the number of uncircumcised men they had killed. How would we feel if our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan followed this Biblical practice and brought such trophies home with them? Wouldn't most of us consider that a pretty revolting thing to do?! Yet it's in the Bible.

I'm just saying ...

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