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Judge moves to block San Francisco circumcision ban vote

July 27, 2011 |  5:23 pm

San Francisco residents will not be voting in November on whether to prohibit circumcision after all, according to a tentative ruling by a Superior Court judge made public Wednesday.

Judge Loretta M. Giorgi ordered the city’s director of elections to strike the measure from the ballot because she said  it was “expressly preempted” by the California Business and Professions Code.

Under that statute, only the state is allowed to regulate medical procedures, and “the evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure,” the ruling said.

Proponents of the ban argue that circumcision is akin to male genital mutilation and should not be allowed. A group of doctors, families and community groups sued last month to get the measure off the ballot, arguing that it was anti-Semitic and violated state law.

Giorgi ruled that “it serves no legitimate purpose to allow a measure whose invalidity can be determined as a matter of law to remain on the ballot after such a ruling has been made.”

She is expected to finalize the decision at a hearing Thursday morning.


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-- Maria L. LaGanga, reporting from San Francisco

Photo: Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco)  announced plans last week to introduce legislation to keep local governments from enacting their own laws on circumcision. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press