Heard on the Hill: The Savior of Circumcision?

Posted June 14, 2011 at 6:40pm

In November, San Francisco voters will decide on a measure to ban male circumcision unless Rep. Brad Sherman can stop them.

The California Democrat announced Tuesday that he will introduce the Religious and Parental Rights Defense Act, which would prevent cities and municipalities from banning the procedure.

Recently, a measure banning circumcision for men under age 18 — with a possible $1,000 penalty and one-year prison term — has qualified for a spot on San Francisco’s November ballot.

“Male circumcision has been practiced for thousands of years and is a deeply important ceremony for two major religions,” Sherman says in a statement. “Circumcision is obligatory for Jewish-born males — it must be performed on the eighth day after birth and is only postponed in the case of threat to the life or health of the child. Muslim parents also circumcise their male children.” 

He points out that nothing in his bill would prohibit a requirement that the procedure occur in a hygienic manner. Well, thank goodness.