U.S. judge orders ban on circumcision off ballot
A California judge ordered a proposal to ban circumcisions of boys in San Francisco removed from an upcoming municipal ballot, saying it would infringe on religious freedom.
But Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi, in finalizing a tentative decision reached on Wednesday, said she technically barred the measure on grounds that state laws disallow voter initiatives governing medical practices.
The law “leaves no room for localities to legislate in this area,” the judge wrote in her formal opinion.
Circumcision is a ritual obligation for infant Jewish boys, and is also a common rite among Muslims, who account for the largest share of circumcised men worldwide. But critics of the practice argue that it amounts to genital mutilation.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (A rabbi holds an eight-day-old baby Menachem Mendel as other rabbis read prayers during a circumcision ceremony at the European Jewish Community Centre in Brussels, August 20, 2009)