UPDATE, JULY 28, 4:04 P.M.: Snip away. A Superior Court judge has ruled that the measure to criminalize circumcision in San Francisco violates both the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom, and a California law that makes regulating medical procedures solely a state matter, not a function of cities.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 22, 12:25 P.M.: It's a penis predicament.
There have been recent efforts in California cities to ban circumcision, but two lawmakers want to snippety-snip away the chances of that happening.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, are sponsoring a state bill primarily in response to a measure on San Francisco's November ballot that would ban circumcisions for those under the age of 18, and penalize violators with up to a $1,000 fine and a year behind bars.
They believe the measure is, well, nuts. “To enact an outright ban on an expression of personal, medical and religious freedom is an affront to all who value liberty,” Gatto told the Sacramento Bee.
Male circumcision is a religious rite for Jews and Muslims, and a new study has found that a circumcision campaign in Africa has reduced HIV infections by 76 percent. Though
anticircumcision activists, or, as many call themselves, “intactivists,” say it's barbaric, equating the practice with the widely condemned female circumcision.
Ma and Gatto's bill, AB 768, would restrict local bans on male circumcision. It's being rushed through the legislature before the November ballots are printed, and could become law immediately if it's passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.