Gov. Brown Signs Bill To Prevent Male Circumcision Bans In California

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – State legislation preventing California localities from criminalizing circumcision was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the governor’s office announced Sunday.

The legislation came about following efforts by a group in San Francisco to get a measure on the city’s November ballot that would ban the procedure.

In July, the measure was ordered stricken from the ballot by a San Francisco Superior Court judge who said the initiative was preempted by a state law concerning medical procedures, and also endangered the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

To prevent other municipalities from proposing similar measures, Assemblymembers Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, and Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, introduced Assembly Bill 768.

The legislation, signed into law over the weekend, precludes cities and counties from prohibiting or restricting the practice of circumcision, which the law states “has a wide array of health and affiliative benefits.”

The circumcision opponents in San Francisco, led by organizer Lloyd Schofield, have argued that male circumcision is similar to female circumcision practices already banned in the U.S.

Schofield collected thousands of signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot before it was stricken by the judge.

Abby Michelson Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement today saying that Brown’s signing of the law “reaffirms that municipalities cannot take away parents’ rights to make medical and religious decisions for their own children.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • C. Fin

    RIGHT ON Jerry. I was in shock that this EVER even went before any judge in the first place. HOW DARE people get themselves involved in anything that does NOT involve them anyway.

    • anoh

      Dirty Judge!

    • Arya

      I agree with you, however I thought making laws to make others conform to one’s own sensibility was an accepted tradition, look at the ban on Chinese shark fin soup, ban on polygamy and a list of other things like that.

  • Maria

    Government is already to much in our business. Now trying to tell us how to raise our children. Allow the parents to decide what is best for there kids. After all it’s not like the Gov. supports them. Children have gotten out of hand because you have already taken the right to discipline. When I was a child we got spanked if we were bad. Most kids that were disciplined as children are not traumatized by it.

    • Robesdesaixtare


      So it’s OK if a few are?

      Let’s be clear, by the way, on what “discipline” really is. It’s assualt. It’s battery. It’s unwilling physical harm against another human being with no proven benefits. If it were committed against an adult, said adult would enjoy a decade or more in prison.

    • Arya

      Right ON!!! Land of the Free means freedom to raise kids to ones own beliefs. The fact is they are ALL beliefs. Including the scientific superstitions.

    • George Grover

      In case you haven’t noticed, THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TELLING US WHAT WE CAN AND CANNOT DO WITH OUR CHILDREN FOR A VERY LONG TIME NOW. I asked my oldest son if he is the one in charge of his children or the government, and he said he was the parent, not the other way around. So I said to him, IF YOU THINK PARENTS ARE IN CHARGE THEN EXPLAIN WHAT HE THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN IF HE AS THEIR PARENT DIDN’T WANT TO GET THEM THEIR VACCINATIONS, OR EVEN IF HE CHOSE TO NOT DO SOMETHING BECAUSE OF RELIGOUS BELIEFS, HOW LONG DID HE THINK HE WOULD KEEP HIS CHILDREN BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT TOOKTHEM FROM HIM? The sad fact is that the government has allowed the (parents) to be nothing more than PAYING CARETAKERS OF HIS CHILDREN.

  • Michael Aschoff

    Go ahead and mutilate your male children … it only shows how BACKWARDS you are … you’d be in an uproar if this was happening to your daughters … sick freaks …

    • jefferson

      you made it sound really bad…get a life…childs decision?? a child dude , a child?? I know they have right also, but if we will let them decide, why do i need baby sitter for them…

  • Agent P

    ‘This landmark legislation marks a highpoint in California’s history’…

    Sarcasm = off…

    Seriously, this is what politics has descended to. Hey, btw – what’s going on with the state budget these days…?

  • Paul W

    Agree with Jerry…this procedure should be a choice of the parents, not the government.

    • Miles Coatsee

      It should be the choice of the CHILD, not the parent!

      Just because parents have broad discretion over their child’s upbringing (as they should) does not mean they have to right to mutilate their child’s genitals. Leave the kid’s private parts alone!!!

      If the parents were to inflict the analogous procedure on their daughter, they would be in prison. But for a baby boy – hey, no problem. In fact, the government will pass a law actually making it your RIGHT to do so.

      Just another in a long line of policies that show society’s hatred of men.

  • Arya

    This is ridiculous!!!! Can there be a greater acknowledgement that politics has become a joke????!!!!! A bill to prevent a ban!!!!???? What nonsense, just do not allow the ban in the 1st place.

  • sith

    A ban on the bans, eh? Tag! You’re it! No quitties, no restartsies!

  • Cassandra

    Tyranny by the many, is not really different from tyranny by the one. It’s all still tyranny, no matter how well intentioned.

  • In the name of

    Cutting & mutilation = child abuse… Although it isn’t the governments place to tell you what to do, this SHOULD be the child’s decision! It’s not like an ear piercing people- this is irreversible.

  • Dennis

    Why not let the little guy make his own mind up when he’s 18?

  • sam

    I find the comments some people have made here very disturbing

    people do NOT have a right to do whatever they please with a person just because said person is their child, parents have a duty to do what is objectively in their child’s best interests. they do not have any discretion to do optional things to their child

    their child’s body is exactly that – their CHILD’S BODY
    they can only do things to their child is is is something that a reasonable person would consider to be necessary and the only reason this limited right exists is because infants cant make decisions for themselves

    as soon as a child becomes able to make any decisions for himself he is entitled to do so, he does not have to wait until he is 18, it is not for other people
    to claim that a person is somehow unable to do so merely because he is a child,

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