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Fighting circumcision ban cost $100,000

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The successful fight to remove a circumcision ban from a San Francisco ballot cost the measure’s opponents nearly $100,000.

The Committee for Parental Choice and Religious Freedom, the political action committee organized by the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council to fight the measure, spent six times more than those seeking the ban, according to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. The ban’s backers spent $14,000.

“The good news is it cost us a fraction of what it would have cost had the legal victory not occurred,” JCRC associate director Abby Michelson Porth told the Jewish Journal.

A California judge struck the measure from the ballot in July. A failure would have meant a long electoral campaign into November.

The bill, which would have banned circumcision for children under 18, was placed on the ballot after a petition gathered 12,000 signatures.

Campaign files obtained by the Jewish Journal showed that most of the Committee for Parental Choice’s funding came from Bay Area Jewish individuals and organizations. National Jewish groups also pitched in, with the Anti-Defamation League donating $25,000.

According to Ethics Commission documents, most of the contributions for the Committee Opposing Forced Male Circumcision were of non-monetary services, including more than half from Richard Kurylo, an employee of the San Francisco City Controller’s Office.

Other prominent donors were Lloyd Shoefeld, the ban’s sponsor, as well as Matthew Hess, the author of the bill and creator of the anti-circumcision comic book "Foreskin Man," which was criticized as being grossly anti-Semitic.

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