Judge could strike San Francisco circumcision ban from ballot

The ban is opposed by Jewish and Muslim groups

The ban is opposed by Jewish and Muslim groups

A San Francisco judge is expected to announce today whether she will go ahead with plans to prevent a vote on a proposal to ban circumcision.

Judge Loretta Giorgi could strike the proposal from the ballot on the basis that it could not be passed anyway because medical procedures are the responsibility of states rather than individual cities.

She noted that it would serve "no legitimate purpose to allow a measure whose invalidity can be determined as a matter of law to remain on the ballot." Judge Giorgi said she wants to hear arguments on the issue before making a final ruling.

But if she does strike the ballot, her decision will delight a broad coalition of Jewish, Muslim and other groups opposed to the ban.

If passed, it would prevent the circumcision of males under the age of 18. Its authors included no exemptions for religious practice.

The controversial proposal, due to be voted on in November, would make circumcision punishable by a fine or even a prison sentence.

    Last updated: 10:06am, July 28 2011