A measure that would ban circumcision in San Francisco will likely be kept off the November ballot thanks to a ruling by Superior Court Judge Loretta M. Giorgi.
In a tentative ruling, which will likely be finalized Thursday, Giorgi agreed with the Jewish Community Relations Council and Muslim religious groups who have filed suits, claiming the initiative violated a state law that bars local governments from regulating health care professionals.
"The evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure," Giorgi wrote. "Because the proposed ballot initiative attempts to regulate a medical procedure, the proposed ordinance is expressly preempted."
Giorgi ordered the city's Department of Elections to "remove the measure from the ballot in its entirety."
Abby Porth, a spokeswoman for the JCRC, said the ruling "put a stop to an extreme measure to constrain civil liberties and parental choice."
The proposal would punish anyone who circumcises a boy under age 18 with up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000.
Lloyd Schofield, the retired hotel credit manager behind the initiative, told The Bay Citizen that opponents of circumcision would pack a courtroom hearing Thursday morning, when Giorgi is expected to finalize her ruling.
"Botox is a medical procedure too, but I don't think you'd get very far if you'd do that to your child. Individuals have human rights not to have unnecessary surgery done to their genitals," he said.
If Giorgi's ruling is finalized, it seems extremely unlikely that the ban will reach the ballot.
Schofield said proponents would appeal Giorgi's ruling. But they may not have the legal right to do so.