Alleged constitutional scholar Adam Winkler writes a genuinely clueless column today in The Daily Beast attacking the San Francisco proposed circumcision ban, both insulting the unemployed and San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood in doing so*.
As if that’s not bizarre enough, he claims that a circumcision ban is an issue of the right albeit unintentionally so. While the rest of the country looks at the ballot measure as a product of lefty SF, he argues it’s the right wing Supreme Court justices who have made the proposed ban potentially constitutional.
These points aside, his article largely rests on religious arguments against it without a word addressing gender issues or a child’s right to be protected from harm. A genuine constitutional scholar would acknowledge the competing interests and argue his points transparently, but not Winkler.
It’s time for Americans to wake up to the speciousness that is the religious defense of genital mutilation. We could start with an honest discussion that acknowledges the various sides instead of what we have here.
Opponents say San Francisco’s proposed circumcision ban is a violation of the First Amendment and will get thrown out by the courts, but Adam Winkler argues that the ban may stand up in court thanks to Antonin Scalia and other conservatives.
While the law allows circumcision for medical necessity, it explicitly declares that religious beliefs and practices cannot be the basis for an exception. Add Northern California mohels to the ranks of the unemployed.
But if believers in the Bay Area have to start wandering the back alleys of The Castro in search of an illegal circumcision, you can thank Justice Scalia and Republican presidents like Ronald Reagan who are so often celebrated for their support of religion.
*While Winkler is really sticking it to San Francisco, something about his sarcastic mention of the Castro just feels homophobic. Suggesting that illegal infant penis surgery tongue-in-cheek is soon to be found in the Castro, where the struggles of grown gay men and women for freedom were first vocally and loudly put on display, seems very wrong. This is especially so because this measure echoes the struggles for self-determination and autonomy historically faced by gay men and women.