San Francisco Puts Circumcision Ban on the Ballot

By JTA

Published May 20, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A measure seeking to ban male circumcision will appear on the November ballot in San Francisco.

More than 7,700 signatures from city residents on a petition in support of the measure were approved as valid by city officials on Wednesday. At least 7,168 signatures were required, and more than 12,000 were submitted.

The measure, which would apply only in the city of San Francisco, would make it a misdemeanor crime to circumcise a boy before he is 18 years old. The maximum penalty would be a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Circumcisions would be permitted only for medical reasons, with no religious exemptions.

Even if the measure passes in November, it likely would be challenged as a constitutional violation of freedom of religion.

“This is a tradition not only practiced by Jews, but by Muslims and members of secular society,” Rabbi Yosef Langer, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of San Francisco, said. “The Jewish people and spiritually conscious people all over the world will certainly – and have always – risen to the occasion so that justice, and the will of the Almighty, will prevail.”

The Anti-Defamation League and the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council have come out against the proposal.

Jewish boys traditionally are circumcised at eight days of age and Muslims at some time during boyhood.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.