FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2011
In San Francisco, some people are agitating for a ban on circumcision. In Oakland, the Rev. Svend la Rose says circumcision is already banned. In a petition filed today with the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, la Rose seeks a writ of mandate requiring the Attorney General of California, Hon.
Kamala Harris, to prosecute circumcision under California’s mayhem law, which prohibits “Disfigur[ing]… and part of the body” of a human being. The case argues, under California's equal protection clause, that young men have the same right to keep their prepuces as do men over 18. The petition also calls for a ban on prosecution of sex with and among young people.
The petition for the writ rests on Article 1, section 7 of the State Constitution, which provides for due process of law and equal protection of the laws. The primary equal protection interest implicated is the
equality between young citizens and older citizens, since it is already recognized that circumcising an adult may without his permission is certainly a crime. This set, la Rose does implicate gender when he calls for excuses and defenses to the crime of circumcision to be judged by the same standard used to judge the excusibility or defensibility of female circumcision. Since cutting off parts of girls’ genitals is a
crime, la Rose reasons the removal of parts of boys genitals must be equally criminal. He insists this is true irrespective of the difference in functional importance between the male prepuce (don’t call it a “foreskin” because it’s so much more than skin) and the female vulva, Nevertheless, he insists a comparison can be made, in terms of the erotic effects of circumcision and its cultural and cosmetic justifications.
In addition to the prosecution of circumcision, la Rose's petition also calls for a ban on the prosecution of sex with and among people under the age of 18. This, too, is under the equal protection clause, and calls for young people's sexual self-determination rights to be respected on the same terms as the rights of senior citizens and developmentally disabled people the logic of this is clear to la Rose: “If developmentally disabled people and retarded people are defined by their incapacity any yet they still have at least a chance to consent or to prove their ability to consent, then how can you deny the same right to young people, who are not defined by their incapacity but by some arbitrary characteristic?"
La Rose is president of ASFAR Youth Liberation (www.youthliberation.org), which is the oldest comprehensive organization in the United States advocating for the liberty and self-determination of young people. He is also an ordained minister and accomplished musician. He is suing in another case to get back into UC Berkeley. Finally, and purely coincidentally, he is homeless.
La Rose insists this will not be his only action to protect the equal protection rights of young people. In a statement, he indicated he is working on two other actions to defend young people's rights to educational advancement and to freedom from arbitrary mental health procedures. He hopes to complete and file at least one of these actions by the end of the week. To achieve this end, he seeks the support of the general public in order to pay his expenses for filing and for staying alive long enough to file.
La Rose seeks the immediate support of the public to meet his immediate needs while he works on
this case and other matters of public interest. All funds donated to ASFAR go directly to ASFAR’s
activities, so la Rose has set up a donation button on his own blog, svendlarose.blogspot.com, which points to this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QST5REYR8HCUG
All funds donated will be used in a frugal and just manner o keep Svend alive while he works tirelessly for justice. Anyone who agrees with Svend or merely wishes to reward his courage can and should give money.
Press desiring to meet Svend should meet him at the Alameda County Admin. Bldg, 12th and Oak streets, Oakland, CA, at 5:00 or 9:00 pm tonight, January 24, or tomorrow morning the 25th at 8:00 at the same place. Statements will be made at that time or else via this blog.
Svend D. la Rose
ASFAR Youth Liberation
AIM: svend grafofonix