California Prevents Ban on Bris Milah


bris-milahCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he signed a bill preventing local authorities from banning the practice of male circumcision.

The bill, which takes effect immediately, comes in the wake of an effort by a San Francisco group opposed to male circumcision to enforce a city-wide ban of the practice in a November ballot measure.

That effort was struck down in late July by a California judge who said it would infringe on religious freedom. The measure was removed from the November ballot.

The measure, which garnered 12,000 signatures of support, would have made it a misdemeanor crime to circumcise a boy before he is 18 years old in San Francisco, regardless of the parents’ religious beliefs.

A dozen petitioners sued to block the initiative at the time. A similar effort in Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles, was withdrawn.

The move to outlaw circumcision in San Francisco raised alarm bells for Jewish groups.

In June, the Anti-Defamation League condemned a comic book created by supporters of the anti-circumcision movement that it said contained grotesque anti-Semitic imagery. The comic featured a character named “Monster Mohel” as an evil villain.

{Reuters/ Newscenter}