A committee of the California Senate has unanimously approved a bill that declares male circumcision to have health, cultural, and other benefits that warrant its being governed by state rules, rather than city or town ordinances, The Associated Press is reporting. If passed, the bill will prevent future attempts to ban circumcisions at the local level.
"The decision to perform male circumcision should be left up to the parents in consultation with their physician, wherever they reside," Ryan Spencer, a spokesman for the California Medical Association, testified before the Senate committee.
In July, an anti-circumcision group collected more than 7,700 signatures to get a circumcision ban onto the ballot in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, when a coalition of Jewish and Muslim groups sued, a judge ruled that the measure could not appear on the ballot because circumcision has religious and health protections that are governed by the state, not individual cities.
The full state Senate will consider and vote on the bill next week.