San Franciscans will vote on whether or not to ban infant circumcision on their November 8 municipal election ballot after more than 12,000 signatures in support of the measure were submitted to city officials. At least 7,168 signatures were required for the Department of Elections to consider the petition.
San Francisco is home to over 70,000 Jews and a large Muslim community. Both groups practice circumcision and consider it a sacred rite. “This is the most direct assault on Jewish religious practice in the United States,” said Marc Stern of the American Jewish Committee. Ibrahim Ramey of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation agreed. “There are religious sensitivities that are involved and the decision to circumcise ought best be left to the parents of the child, and not a political referendum.”
If San Fran’s residents vote in favor of the ban, it would become illegal to “circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years” inside city limits. Breaking the law would result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
Only in San Francisco.