Statement of the Orthodox Union Regarding San Francisco Ballot Question to Ban Circumcision
Today, the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, representing hundreds of synagogues and thousands of members across North America, including in San Francisco and the Bay Area issued the following statement addressing a ballot initiative that recently (and narrowly) qualified for the November, 2012 ballot in San Francisco that will allow a vote on a proposed law banning circumcision on anyone below eighteen years old:
For centuries, those who persecuted the Jewish People sought to ban brit milah, a central and fundamental Jewish practice. We are confident the people of San Francisco will not join them. We believe the people of San Francisco are bigger and better than this small minded bigotry and we are heartened by the many distinguished leaders and organizations, including leaders of many other faiths, that have publicly condemned this attack on religious liberty.
We believe the proposed local referendum on circumcision is likely illegal; it is surely an affront to all people of good will. If enacted, it will be patently discriminatory against Jews and Muslims and shows none of the progressive tolerance for which San Franciscans pride themselves. We will vigorously challenge this attack on our faith in every manner and method available.
Dr. Simcha Katz, President Nathan J. Diament, Director of Public Policy