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A November ballot initiative will ask San Francisco voters if they want to ban circumcision procedures in their city.
The effort to criminalize circumcision is being led by gay San Franciscan Lloyd Schofield, who believes the procedure is barbaric and dangerous, referring to it as "male genital mutilation." Schofield gathered the necessary signatures needed to place it on San Francisco's ballot for the November 8 municipal election, CNN reports. Should San Francisco approve the ban, anyone found performing the procedure could go to jail and face a fine -- there would be no religious exemptions.
There are arguments that circumcision cuts down on HIV transmission, but Schofield believes the opposite. He told HIV Plus magazine: "There is a reverse correlation between circumcision and HIV. Some nations in Africa have a higher HIV infection rate--even though most of the men are circumcised--than countries where most of the men are intact. The U.S. has a much higher HIV and STD rate than Europe, and most American men have been circumcised, while most European men are intact."