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Monday, October 3, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill That Heads Off Local Ban on Circumcisions

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Intactivists hopes are snipped -- for good
  • Intactivists hopes are snipped -- for good

The controversy over male circumcisions has officially been nipped in the bud. Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed off on a new law that puts the kibosh on local cities and counties looking to criminalize circumcision for males younger than 18.

Lawmakers passed the bill last month, claiming a circumcision ban would strip people of their religious freedom and medical rights.

The bill was signed into law just two months after a judge cut San Francisco's controversial circumcision ban from the November ballot, saying it would violate state law that prevents cities and counties from regulating medical services. Attorneys for proponents of the ban argued that circumcisions are the equivalent of genital mutilation, something from which state law protects females. But that argument didn't fly with lawmakers, who recognized that circumcision is a deep tradition among some religious groups.

San Francisco's Jewish community filed a lawsuit attempting to block the local ban, which would have prevented anyone from snipping off the foreskin of a male younger than 18; religious leaders argued that there are huge health benefits to circumcision, including a reduced risk of HIV.

Amid that legal battle, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, (D-Burbank) along with Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) introduced A.B. 768, explaining that this would prevent local governments from

creating their own "patchwork of regulations" to deal with medical

procedures recognized by the state, which includes circumcision.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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