SWC Lauds CA Governor Brown’s New Law Stopping Circumcision Ban

October 3, 2011

The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed California Governor Jerry Brown’s new state law preventing local authorities from banning the practice of male circumcision.

The bill, which is effective immediately, was drafted by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), in response to a proposed San Francisco ballot measure that would have prohibited any foreskin cutting that was not deemed medically necessary. A similar measure was proposed in Santa Monica and was later pulled back by proponents.

"By signing this bill preventing municipalities in California from banning male circumcision, Governor Brown at once preserved religious rights for all and a sacred rite of passage that has been zealously and safely observed since our Patriarch, Abraham's own circumcision. The Governor's action resonates beyond California and paves the path for other states and municipalities to defeat similar circumcision ban efforts," said Rabbi Meyer H. May, SWC Executive Director.

A letter sent to Governor Brown last month from Rabbi May urged the Governor to sign the bill and also to prevent future anti-circumcision ballot initiatives.

The letter pointed out that, “…the attack on circumcision could ultimately affect a Catholic parent’s right to send their child to Catholic school, a Jewish parent’s right to teach their child to fast on Yom Kippur or a Muslim parent’s right to provide only Hallal meat to their child.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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