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Congressman To Introduce Bill To Protect Male Circumcision Rights

Circumcision Ban

First Posted: 06/15/11 01:49 PM ET Updated: 08/15/11 06:12 AM ET

A new bill aims to cut short a proposed ban on circumcision in San Francisco.

US. Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) will introduce the Religious and Parental Rights Defense Act of 2011 to prevent S.F. and other municipalities from banning male circumcision, which is religious obligation for Jewish males and is a common Muslim and Christian practice.

Sherman, who is Jewish, currently has one co-sponsor on the bill, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, JTA reports.

"The Religious and Parental Rights Defense Act of 2011 ensures that Jewish and Muslim families will continue to be able to enjoy the free exercise of their religious beliefs," Sherman said in a statement, adding that proponents of a ban have an obligation to provide compelling medical evidence against male circumcision. In fact, he said, the medical literature shows the opposite.

Announcement of the bill comes as the San Francisco "intactivist" effort heats up. Voters won't be able to weigh in until November, but the anti-circumcision movement is already gaining support.

Matt Hess, president of San Diego-based group MGM Bill (MGM stands for "Male Genital Mutilation"), recently raised claims of anti-Semitism after the release of a second issue of his comic, "Foreskin Man," which featured a sinister Orthodox Jewish villain by the name of Monster Mohel.

The San Francisco effort would ban circumcision for males under the age of 18, carrying a fine of $1,000 and up to one year in prison.

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Filed by Josh Fleet  |