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San Francisco to vote on circumcision ban

Voters in the Californian city of San Francisco will be asked to weigh in on what was until now a private family matter: male circumcision.

City elections officials confirmed that an initiative that would ban the circumcision of males younger than 18 in San Francisco has received enough signatures to appear on the referendum in November. The practice would become a misdemeanour.

Supporters of the ban say male circumcision is a form of genital mutilation that should not be forced on a young child.

But opponents say such claims are alarmingly misleading, and call the proposal a clear violation of constitutionally protected religious freedoms.

The initiative's backers say its progress is the biggest success story to date of a decades-old nationwide movement to end circumcision of male infants in the United States.

A similar effort in Massachusetts last year failed to gain traction.

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