Anti-circumcision activists were protesting at Civic Center outside the San Francisco Public Library this afternoon. I couldn’t get a shot of their really provocative sign (depicting a bloody scalpel), but here’s a protester with a sign decrying genital mutilation.
As I understand things, this small but vocal group is trying to put male circumcision, which they view as cruel and inhumane (possibly a human rights abuse) on the ballot, with the hope that San Franciscans will vote to ban it.
While they may be correct about circumcision severing valuable nerve endings and not being necessary for cleanliness, I do not believe that they have a very high likelihood of success. The practice is too integral to major religious traditions practiced in the city, and critics have painted them as religiously intolerant.
Not that they’re asking my advice, but a wiser approach might be to push for education, rather than legislation – and to focus their efforts on people whose religious background does not mandate the practice. They might have a higher success rate if they were to focus on educating individuals and bringing about social change. (Less provocative signs might help them to seem more reasonable and approachable, too.)
Complicated issue…file this under “Only in San Francisco.”