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Poll: Should Local Circumcision Bans Be Outlawed?

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 768 into law on Sunday, which prohibits California localities from passing bans on circumcision.

State legislation preventing California localities from criminalizing circumcision was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the governor's office announced Sunday.

The legislation came about following efforts by a group in San Francisco to get a measure on the city's November ballot that would ban the procedure. In July, the measure was ordered stricken from the ballot by a San Francisco Superior Court judge who said the initiative was preempted by a state law concerning medical procedures, and also endangered the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

To prevent other municipalities from proposing similar measures, Assemblymembers Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, and Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, introduced Assembly Bill 768. The legislation, signed into law over the weekend, precludes cities and counties from prohibiting or restricting the practice of circumcision, which the law states "has a wide array of health and affiliative benefits."

The circumcision opponents in San Francisco, led by organizer Lloyd Schofield, have argued that male circumcision is similar to female circumcision practices already banned in the U.S. Schofield collected thousands of signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot before it was stricken by the judge.

Abby Michelson Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement today saying that Brown's signing of the law "reaffirms that municipalities cannot take away parents' rights to make medical and religious decisions for their own children."

- Bay City News Service

 

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Thomas Tobin October 06, 2011 at 02:51 PM
There is no other healthy body part it is legal to remove, from a person who cannot give consent. It is legal hypocrisy to allow male circumcision and ban female circumcision. Both are religious custom, so that holds no water. It's his body. He should be the one who decides which healthy parts to keep, or get rid of.
Mark Lyndon October 06, 2011 at 03:44 PM
It's illegal even to make a pinprick on a girl's genitals, even though some people regard that as their religious right or duty. Why don't girls get the same protection? Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts cut off their genitals. It's *their* body.
Bo October 06, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Circumcision should not be banned. Circumcision of unconsenting children should be.
Hugh7 October 06, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Your headline doesn't match your poll, but the Bill Brown signed, AB768, doesn't just outlaw bans on circumcision, It actually says “No city, county, or city and county ordinance, regulation, or administrative action shall prohibit or restrict the practice of male circumcision, or the exercise of a parent’s authority to have a child circumcised.” That makes it legal for anyone, of any age, with no training, to circumcise anyone, with a boxcutter if they wish, so long as 1. one parent has consented 2. the victim is under 18 and 3. male, - and a Bill before the Senate (HR2400 - with a further implication that it must be a clean boxcutter) may spread that freedom across the USA. It would make life easier if the circumcision advocates coulld make their minds up whether circumcision is medical or religious. It's hydra-headed.
B Maurene White October 06, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Who needs a Bronze age blood sacrifice for any reason? Circumcision is an act of enslavement and an image of a slave. Why worship using a ritual of slavery?
Craig Garrett October 06, 2011 at 11:42 PM
This law is a terrible double-standard. It is illegal to make even the tiniest cut on a girl's private parts, but the CA state gov't is determined to ensure it's always legal to amputate large amounts of healthy, functional tissue from baby boys. So much for equal protection under the law... The good news is that more and more parents are saying 'no' to circumcision and are keeping their baby boys intact. Parents are educating themselves, doing their homework and really understanding what circumcision entails. They are also learning that the foreskin is a healthy, normal, and important part of male anatomy. With this knowledge, more parents than ever are choosing to protect their sons from unnecessary genital cutting. http://www.circumcision.org/ The foreskin is erogenous tissue, containing thousands of erogenous fine-touch nerve endings. The most sensitive and pleasurable parts of male anatomy are removed by circumcision. Here's color-coded diagrams showing the areas of sensitivity for both circumcised and intact anatomy: http://www.circumstitions.com/Sexuality.html#sorrells Additionally, the foreskin acts as a linear bearing during intercourse, making the experience more comfortable and pleasurable for women. For diagrams of how this works, see: http://www.cirp.org/pages/anat/
Thomas Tobin October 07, 2011 at 02:13 AM
Thanks, Maurene. That so needed to be said.

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