Calif. bill would prevent future anti-circumcision ballot initiatives


(JTA) — A bill that would prevent California municipalities from banning male circumcision was unanimously approved by the state Senate’s judiciary committee.

The committee approved the bill, proposed by two Democratic lawmakers, on Tuesday. It will head to the Senate floor as early as next week. If approved by the California State Legislature, the bill would prevent future attempts to put measures banning circumcision on voter ballots.

The bill comes on the heels of two attempts in California to place circumcision bans on the November ballot.

A state Superior Court judge in California ruled in July that an anti-circumcision measure in San Francisco be stuck from the ballot because the city lacked the authority to regulate a medical procedure. Activists in Santa Monica then withdrew an identical proposal that had not yet made it to the ballot.

If passed, the San Francisco initiative would have made the practice of circumcising a minor a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail, and offered no exemption for religious ritual. It would have been the first time that such a measure appeared on a ballot in a U.S. city, according to the Anti Defamation League. Supporters of the San Francisco measure told The Associated Press that they would decide by Friday whether to appeal the judge’s ruling in the case.

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