CALIFORNIA – Attention expectant Jewish mothers and fathers: Now might not be the best time to consider a move to California.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that anti-circumcision activists in San Francisco succeeded in garnering the 7,700 signatures needed (12,000 were actually submitted) to secure a place on the November ballot for a measure banning circumcision.
If the proposal passes, it will be a misdemeanor to circumcise boys younger than 18 within the city limits, even for religious purposes. The law carried a penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A vote outcome in favor of the ban, however, is likely to trigger a challenge based on a constitutional violation of freedom of religion.
Not to be outdone, an anti-circumcision group in Santa Monica known as Male Genital Mutilation (MGMBill.org) has taken preliminary steps to have an identical initiative placed on that city’s November ballot.
“This is a tradition not only practiced by Jews, but by Muslims and members of secular society,” said Rabbi Yosef Langer, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of San Franciso. “The Jewish people and spiritually conscious people all over the world will certainly – and have always – risen to the occasion so that justice, and the will of the Almighty, will prevail.”