California slaps down attempts to ban circumcision | Inquirer Lifestyle
Governor Jerry Brown. AFP

California slaps down attempts to ban circumcision

Governor Jerry Brown. AFP

LOS ANGELES—California has banned local authorities from trying to outlaw male circumcision, after a group lobbied to prohibit the practice in San Francisco.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill banning city or county authorities in the Golden State from prohibiting male circumcision or barring parents from letting their children be circumcised.

The action came after a San Francisco group gathered the required 7,000 signatures to have a proposal to ban male circumcision in San Francisco put to a referendum in November.

The ballot initiative by so-called “intactivist” supporters would have made the circumcision of male minors a misdemeanor except in cases of medical necessity.

But a judge in July ruled in favor of a coalition of religious groups, doctors and families who claimed the proposed ban violated a state law that prohibits local governments from regulating medical procedures.

Brown’s office said Sunday that the California governor had signed the bill into law, effectively imposing a blanket ban on similar attempts by any local authorities in the western US state.

The new law bans city or county authorities “from prohibiting or restricting the practice of male circumcision, or the exercise of a parent’s authority to have a child circumcised,” according to the text of the bill.