Circumcision in San Francisco. Bill takes effect immediately
Photo: AP

California prevents circumcision ban

Governor signs bill in response to ballot measure proposed in San Francisco

California's governor has signed a bill that that will prevent local governments from banning male circumcision.


Governor Jerry Brown's office announced Sunday that the Democrat signed AB768, a bill written in response to a ballot measure proposed in San Francisco.


Backers of a ban collected more than 7,700 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot in San Francisco to outlaw the circumcision of most male children. It was later blocked by a judge.


They had argued that circumcision is an unnecessary surgery that can lead to sexual and health problems later in life.


A similar effort in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, was withdrawn.


Those against the ban say it is an important religious practice for many Jews and Muslims, and that it can reduce the risk of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.


The bill takes effect immediately.


Circumcision is a ritual obligation for infant Jewish boys and also a common rite among Muslims, who account for the largest share of circumcised men worldwide.


The move to outlaw circumcision in San Francisco raised alarm bells for Jewish groups.


In June, the Anti-Defamation League condemned a comic book created by supporters of the anti-circumcision movement that it said contained grotesque anti-Semitic imagery. The comic featured a character named "Monster Mohel" as an evil villain.


A mohel is a Jewish individual specifically trained to perform the ritual circumcision of infant boys.


The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 10.03.11, 13:04
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