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California: Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Prohibiting Cities, Counties From Banning Male Circumcision

October 3, 2011

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prohibits cities and counties from banning male circumcision. AB 768 was among 44 measures Brown approved; he vetoed four.

AB 768 was introduced in February by Assembly members Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) and Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) to head off a San Francisco ballot initiative seeking to ban the procedure. In July, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi blocked that proposed measure. According to Giorgi, it violated an existing statute that forbids local governments from regulating medical procedures and flouted federal protection of religious freedom. AB 768 continued to progress through the Legislature even after the ruling.

Opponents of male circumcision argue the practice can have negative mental and sexual health consequences. But medical experts point to its benefits, including a lower risk for female-to-male HIV transmission and cancer. Further, male circumcision is a sacred rite for Jews and Muslims, who lobbied heavily against the ballot initiative.

Gatto argued the ballot measure would strip Californians of "an expression of personal, medical, and religious freedom."

Back to other news for October 2011

Adapted from:
Contra Costa Times
10.02.2011; Steven Harmon

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention

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