In a victory for religious liberty, a California judge July 28 struck from the ballot a San Francisco initiative that, if passed, would have banned circumcision.

A coalition of circumcision opponents had gathered around 7,700 signatures to place the issue on the November ballot, attempting to prohibit something that is at the heart of Judaism and Islam. It would have had no religious exception.

Judge Loretta M. Giorgi ruled that under California law, the state has regulatory power over medical procedures, the Los Angeles Times reported. She also found that it would violate the free exercise of religion.

“[T]he evidence presented is overwhelmingly persuasive that circumcision is a widely practiced medical procedure,” she wrote.

The proposal would make it illegal in San Francisco to circumcise males under 18, and would punish violators with a fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

A coalition of doctors, community groups and Muslim and Jewish families had sued to try and strike the initiative from the ballot, the Times said.

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