May 25, 2011
S.F. archbishop raps proposed circumcision ban
San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop expressed his opposition to a city ballot initiative that would ban circumcision for minors.
Archbishop George Niederauer condemned the initiative in a May 23 letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, his archdiocese’s newspaper reported.
“Although the issue does not concern Christians directly, as a religious leader I can only view with alarm the prospect that this misguided initiative would make it illegal for Jews and Muslims who practice their religion to live in San Francisco—for that is what the passage of such a law would mean,” he wrote.
“Apart from the religious aspect, the citizens of San Francisco should be outraged at the prospect of city government dictating to parents in such a sensitive matter regarding the health and hygiene of their children.”
The initiative garnered enough petition signatures to appear on the city’s Nov. 8 ballot. Jewish groups have condemned the proposed ban and have been joined in their opposition by the San Francisco Interfaith Council.