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Gatto's bill on male circumcision bans headed to governor's desk

September 07, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

A bill that prohibits cities and counties from enacting bans on male circumcision is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after passing the state Assembly unanimously Tuesday.

The Senate unanimously passed the measure last week.

The legislation, written by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), was written in response to an effort to ban circumcision of males under 18 in San Francisco.

For Jews and Muslims, circumcision is a sacred rite. A measure banning circumcision was to have been placed on the November ballot in San Francisco. However, the initiative was dismissed in July by a judge who found the ban violates an existing California law that preempts cities from regulating medical procedures.

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"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 statement. "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."

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