San Francisco’s circumcision ban is officially off the November ballot, after a judge ruled Thursday that state law expressly preempts local jurisdictions from regulating health care professionals.
A San Francisco Superior Court judge upheld a tentative ruling from Wednesday that sided with the Jewish Community Relations Council and other individuals suing The City and San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield, who gathered more than 12,000 signatures to get the ban on the ballot.
If passed by voters, circumcision on males under 18 in San Francisco would have been a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Schofield calls male circumcision is a brutal practice, just as deplorable as widely condemned female circumcision practices.
The procedure is held in spiritual importance by members of the Jewish and Islamic faiths, which came into public debate when campaign material for the ban included arguably anti-Semitic comics depicting Jewish circumcision practitioners as villains.
Abby Porth, associate director at the Jewish Community Relations Council, said she welcomes Thursday’s decision by Loretta M. Giorgi. She said her organization’s opposition was about combating negative attention on male circumcision and not so much over fear the ban might be approved by voters.
“Even if it made the ballot, we don’t believe it would have passed,” Porth said.