Proposal to ban circumcision 'misguided'

June 6, 2011

San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer called a proposed ban on circumcision that qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot in San Francisco "a misguided initiative" and "an unconscionable violation of the sanctuaries of faith and family" by the city.

The archbishop made his comments in a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle that appeared May 25.

He expressed support for an opinion piece by Rabbi Gil Leeds published in the newspaper May 20, three days after the San Francisco Department of Elections qualified the initiative for the ballot.

The initiative would ban circumcision for any male under 18 except in cases of medical necessity.

It says that religious belief could not be used as an exception to the law and violators could be fined up to $1,000 and imprisoned for up to one year.