Brown signs bill banning anti-circumcision laws in California

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Sunday that prevents California cities and counties from banning male circumcision.

Introduced by Assemblymember Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and jointly-authored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, the bill came in response to a proposed circumcision ban in San Francisco that almost made it to the November 2012 ballot.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi struck the ban from the ballot in July since it would have violated constitutional freedoms and California law that makes regulating medical procedures a statewide matter.

“To enact an outright ban on an expression of personal, medical, and religious freedom is an affront to me and a majority of Californians,” Gatto said in a July press release. “Such municipal measures are an improper, frivolous use of the initiative process, and would result in a confusing patchwork of regulations across the state that would leave many Californians feeling unwelcome in certain cities.”

According to city of Berkeley spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, no anti-circumcision proposals have ever been presented before the Berkeley City Council.

The bill, passed unanimously in both the state assembly and senate, will go into effect immediately since it was passed as an urgency statue. Most bills signed into law during a regular session of the legislature take effect on Jan. 1 of the following year at the earliest.