Published: May 18, 2011 8:33 PM EDT
Updated: May 18, 2011 8:35 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco voters in November will be asked to weigh in on what was until now a private family matter: male circumcision.

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

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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