What would have been the first vote on the practice in a U.S. city became more controversial when the Anti-Defamation League accused proponents of the ban of using anti-Semitic caricatures to support their cause.
A group including Jewish and Muslim San Francisco residents sued in June to block the ballot measure. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi on July 28 ordered it struck from the ballot, ruling that California law says only the state, not cities, can regulate medical procedures.
Giorgi also said it violated protections of religious freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
If approved by the full Legislature and signed into law, the bill would short-circuit future attempts to pass local laws or ballot initiatives limiting male circumcision on medical or any other basis.
Gatto said that was necessary because Giorgi’s ruling could be overturned on appeal. In addition, he said, circumcision of Jewish children is often performed by a religious specialist known as a mohel (also pronounced MOY-el), who might arguably not be included among the “healing arts practitioners” covered by the state law on medical procedures.
Schofield said Tuesday that supporters of the San Francisco measure would decide by Friday whether they will appeal the court ruling.
Gatto and Ma are pursuing a two-thirds majority vote for the bill, which would allow the statewide standard to take effect immediately.
The bill next goes to the full state Senate, where it could be considered as soon as next week.