Lawsuit seeks to block SF vote on circumcision ban

"SAN FRANCISCO – An unlikely coalition of Jews and Muslims on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to block a San Francisco ballot measure that would ban the circumcision of male children, a procedure widely practiced by members of both faiths.

The case filed in San Francisco Superior Court asks the court to remove the voter initiative from the city’s Nov. 8 ballot, arguing that California law bars local governments from restricting medical procedures.

The measure would prohibit circumcision on males under the age of 18, making it a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions.

The ballot measure is running into fierce opposition, especially among Jews and Muslims who consider circumcision a sacred religious rite. They say the ban would violate their constitutional rights and run counter to San Francisco’s tradition of cultural and religious tolerance.

“As Jews, we take the threat of banning circumcision personally,” said plaintiff Jeremy Benjamin. “This measure singles us out, along with the Muslim community, as illegitimate and unwanted in our own city.”

International health organizations have promoted male circumcision to help reduce the spread of the AIDS virus, but there hasn’t been the same kind of push in the U.S., in part because nearly 80 percent of American men are already circumcised, compared with the worldwide average of 30 percent."

You know, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I agree with the ban (except for the lack of a religious exception).
There’s no medical reason for it. God (or evolution, if you’re an atheist) designed men with a foreskin. We look in horror on other cultures that practice female mutilation.

Didymus, female genital mutilation completely robs a girl or woman of sexual pleasure. The damage it does is much greater than that caused by male circumcision. The two procedures are not really comparable.

As for the lawsuit to block the vote, I am not sure if it has much chance. Granted, it the ban does pass the law would be unenforceable due to Constitutional protections against government interference in religious practices. However, state legislatures occasionally pass laws which also can’t be enforced due to federal laws or court rulings. Since state legislatures are not prevented from passing unenforceable laws, I am not sure that there are grounds for preventing a ballot initiative from doing the same.

Yet a “religious exception” is clearly lacking.
So I see the initiative as being anti-religious in its intent.

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