A circumcision ban measure on the November ballot contains clearly anti-Semitic campaign material and targets members of the Jewish faith, according to a press release Thursday from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.
Jewish groups, along with some Muslim individuals, filed a lawsuit over the measure last week against The City’s director of elections and Lloyd Schofield, the San Francisco resident who gathered more than 12,000 signatures to get the proposed ban on the ballot.
Groups that filed the suit argue that state law prevents local jurisdictions from restricting medical practice by “healing arts professionals” and that the ban would limit First Amendment rights to free religious practice.
The ban would make male circumcision a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
The City Attorney’s Office release said while it normally reserves judgment on pre-election challenges, the circumcision ban is a special case because of comic books depicting Jewish mohels as sinister villains, material that was endorsed by the organization seeking the ban.
The release said the comic books are “darkly evocative of Nazi propaganda of the 1930s and 1940s.”
Schofield said he equates the continuance of legal male circumcision with allowing Mormons to practice polygamy and Christian Scientists to deny their children access to medical services.