SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - A proposal to criminalize male circumcision will go before San Francisco voters this November after the Department of Elections verified Tuesday that supporters have gathered enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot.
Proponents of the circumcision ban submitted 12,271 signatures to the city's Department of Elections, which was able to verify 7,743 of them, a clerk with the department said Wednesday. The measure needed a minimum of 7,168 to qualify.
Supporters of the ban say male circumcision is a form of genital mutilation that should not be forced on a young child.
The organizer of the campaign, Lloyd Schofield, has said he believes male circumcision is wrong, and likens it to female circumcision practices already banned in the U.S.
Local religious groups have strongly opposed the proposal, which they say impinges on their constitutional rights to religious freedom.
The measure would punish people who circumcise a minor with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail.
KCBS And Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:
Schofield said Wednesday of the certification, "Obviously we're very pleased, it was a lot of work for a lot of people ... and we look forward to continuing that outreach and discussion with the people of San Francisco."
The initiative's backers say its progress is the biggest success story to date of a decades-old nationwide movement to end circumcision of male infants in the United States. A similar effort in Massachusetts last year failed to gain traction.
More information about the initiative is available at www.sfmgmbill.org.
(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)
for more features.