ReligiousLiberty.TV Bill Tracker – In November, San Francisco voters will decide whether to criminalize male circumcision within city limits. Doctors or others who perform the procedure could face misdemeanor charges and up to a $1,000 fine and/or 1 year of incarceration. (Note: A proposal of a similar measure in Santa Monica was dropped last week.)
While informal polls projecting that the ballot measure will lose by a large margin (see SF Gate – May 28, 2011), the response to the bill has attracted national attention. In a lawsuit filed by the Jewish Community Relations Council and Muslim individuals against the San Francisco Department of Elections and the bill’s primary promoter Lloyd Schofield, attorneys argue that current state law already prohibits local jurisdictions from preventing the practices of “healing arts professionals,” which they say includes Jewish mohels.
California Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) and Assembly member Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) have introduced a bill that would directly ban local bans on circumcision. In a press conference held in Los Angeles yesterday, July 21, 2011, Ma and Gatto said that the bill would render the San Francisco ballot measure moot.
The first hearing on the bill (AB 768) is scheduled for August 15 when the Legislature reconvenes.
Congresman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) has introduced a similar bill, “The Religious and Parental Rights Defense Act of 2011,” (H.R. 2400) on a Federal Level.
Click here to read the latest versions of California AB 768 and learn the current status.
The following is the latest information on the Federal bill: