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“Gay men and natural-birthing groups are our strongest supporters outside the core of intactivists,” Mr. Hess said.

That said, gay-rights groups aren’t exactly rushing to endorse the measure. None is listed as a supporter of the ballot measure on the group’s website, That may be because such groups want to focus on other issues, such as same-sex marriage, Mr. Hess said, but it doesn’t mean gay voters won’t support it on Election Day.

“I think any time one group endorses another group’s issues, there’s a worry that it will take away from their support,” Mr. Hess said. “Until recently, this was really controversial. It’s still controversial, but less so.”

What continues to be controversial is Mr. Hess‘ comic book, “Foreskin Man,” which depicts a muscled blond superhero fighting “Monster Mohel,” an evil-looking Jewish circumciser. “Nothing excites Monster Mohel more than cutting into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy,” the comic book says.

Jewish organizations are appalled at the publication. “‘Foreskin Man’ traffics in some very ugly imagery,” said Ms. Appel. “People who are fanatical in their beliefs may be willfully blind to the fact that they’ve crossed the line in their activism.”

Mr. Hess stands behind his depiction of the Jewish mohel. “My position is that I fail to see how a superhero trying to save a Jewish boy from circumcision is anti-Semitic,” said Mr. Hess. “It’s not anti-Jewish, it’s anti-Jewish circumcision.”

Studies show that circumcision is on the decline in the West. Estimates vary, but analysts say that about 30 percent of European men are circumcised, while rates of circumcision in the United States have dropped from 80 percent to less than 50 percent.

Even so, “It’s nearly universal with Jewish boys,” said Ms. Appel. Studies also have shown that circumcision can reduce the transmission of HIV and other diseases.

That doesn’t justify subjecting infants to “this harmful, painful and irreversible procedure,” said Mr. Schofield.

“It’s up to us to reach out and let people know that this is not a joke,” he said. “It’s a real human rights issue.”