A measure seeking to ban male circumcision will appear on the November ballot in San Francisco.
More than 7,700 signatures from city residents on a petition in
support of the measure were approved as valid by city officials on
Wednesday. At least 7,168 signatures were required, and more than 12,000
The measure, which would apply only in the city of San Francisco,
would make it a misdemeanor crime to circumcise a boy before he is 18
years old. The maximum penalty would be a year in jail and a $1,000
fine. Circumcisions would be permitted only for medical reasons, with no
Even if the measure passes in November, it likely would be challenged as a constitutional violation of freedom of religion.
“This is a tradition not only practiced by Jews, but by Muslims and
members of secular society,” Rabbi Yosef Langer, director of
Chabad-Lubavitch of San Francisco, said. “The Jewish people and
spiritually conscious people all over the world will certainly -- and
have always -- risen to the occasion so that justice, and the will of
the Almighty, will prevail.”
The Anti-Defamation League and the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council have come out against the proposal.
Jewish boys traditionally are circumcised at eight days of age and Muslims at some time during boyhood.