From the city that has already banned military recruiting, plastic bags, cat declawing, new billboards, ATM fees, citywide phone book delivery, Styrofoam takeout boxes, officials’ travel to Arizona, and fast-food toys, there now comes a ballot measure to outlaw the circumcision of minors. Should the initiative prevail in November, the subject snip would become a crime punishable by a year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Election officials in Fog City last week verified that “intactivists” collected more than the requisite number of signatures necessary to put the issue to a vote. Whether proponents could have succeeded in a city less fixated on Genital Integrity Rights is an open question.

Groups such as the National Organization of Restoring Men (previously RECAP) contend that circumcision is equivalent to the barbaric “genital mutilation” of girls practiced predominantly in northeast Africa. Most medical professionals, however, say that such a claim is wildly inaccurate.

There’s little likelihood that a circumcision ban, if actually approved, could withstand a constitutional challenge. It is, after all, a religious ritual among both Jews and Muslims, among others. But the effort is deeply troubling nonetheless for exposing citizens’ predilection to prevail upon government force to impose their individual preferences on others.

No doubt many among the 12,000 signatories who petitioned for the ban consider themselves to be open-minded—so open-minded, evidently, their brains have dropped right out.

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