(JTA) — 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.