Progress in The New York Times

The New York Times has a story on prohibitions in Southern California.

Once known for its sunny, freewheeling disposition — a live-and-let-live sensibility rooted in Western ideals and relied upon by generations of surfer dudes and misbehaving Hollywood stars — this region has long been as regulated as anywhere. Lately, however, cities, school districts and even libraries have been outlawing chunks of what used to pass here for birthright at a startling clip.

Most of the examples rightly appear as silly and intrusive, but I’m not focusing on that or the various political aspects involved. Instead, the proposed prohibition on non-therapeutic child circumcision in Santa Monica gets its inevitable mention. Brace yourselves.

A ban on circumcision (“male genital mutilation”) was registered for the Santa Monica ballot last year, then dropped in an ensuing uproar — but not before state legislators got to work on a law banning circumcision bans. It was passed and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October. …

That is unbelievable. I expected a mention of the Santa Monica proposal when I read the article. I didn’t expect this treatment. Everything in there is simple fact without further speculations or defenses in favor of circumcision. A prohibition on non-therapeutic child circumcision is not like the others because it’s neither innocuous nor reasonable within a proper understanding of individual freedom. The only birthright is genital integrity. However, the only information that could be questioned is the one piece of information that tells the truth in an unsettling way. Yes, male genital mutilation had quotes, but I still consider that a sign of progress. Remember that prior New York Times reporting on male circumcision hasn’t been quite as rigorous in dealing with facts or relying on credible sources. This is minor but promising.

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