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Circumcision Ban Chopped from S.F. Ballot

Circumcision Ban Chopped from S.F. Ballot

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Nbroverman

A Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that San Francisco's proposed ban on circumcision of minors violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom and struck it from the November ballot.

Judge Loretta Giorgi also said California law leaves the regulation of medical procedures to the state, not individual cities. Proponents of the ban, including initiative sponsor Lloyd Schofield, a local gay man, say circumcision is not often performed as a medical procedure -- the initiative would have allowed circumcision if it was medically warranted.

Jewish groups and Muslim families came out in force against the proposed initiative, which would have made circumcision on any male under 18 a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. Proponents of the ban weren't helped in their public relations efforts when a series of comic books featuring a blond superhero fighting against menacing Jews wielding scalpels surfaced (Schofield says he had nothing to do with the comic book).

In Giorgi's ruling she did admit that there were valid arguments on both sides concerning circumcision and its merits. Some studies have shown it to bring down rates of HIV, while those against the practice decry it as genital mutilation and say it decreases male sexual pleasure.

Read more about Giorgi's decision here and more about Schofield's efforts here.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.