A week after it was announced that San Francisco would be putting a male circumcision ban on September's ballot, a San Diego group has moved to ballot a circumcision ban in Santa Monica as well, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

Matthew Hess, the founder and president of MGM (Male Genital Mutilation) Bill, the group pushing for a vote on the issue, said that circumcision removes "thousands of nerve endings" and is a painful and unnecessary. For Hess, the procedure is comparable to practices in some countries like Sudan or Egypt of removing part or all of female genitals.

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San Francisco to put circumcision ban on the ballot

The San Francisco ban was put on September's ballot after a petition circulating the city received the required number of votes to put the issue to vote. At least 7,168 signatures were required, and 12,000 were received.

Opponents of the ban claim that the prohibition would violate the 1st Amendment prohibition of government interference with a person's religious practice. Both Jewish and Muslim tradition stipulates male circumcision but at different points in the boy's life.

The measure, if it passes, would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise a boy before the age of 18, with a maximum penalty of one years jail time or a $1,000 fine. The ban would allow circumcision only for medical reasons, without religious exceptions.

David Lehrer, a Jewish leader, said that the ban would "take the notion of the Mommy State to a ridiculous extreme. It probably touches on being anti-Semitic" the Times reported. He said there was no truth in comparing the procedure to female circumcision, as the process is not genital mutilation.

Advocates of the bill say that if better education about sexually transmitted diseases and hygiene management, male circumcision is unnecessary. According to the Times While there are no conclusive or widely accepted studies, some point to the fact that the procedure removes thousands of nerve endings, with the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention saying due to the lack of conclusive evidence "the decision would rest solely with individuals and parents."

The MGM bill petition would need 6,000 signatures in order to be put on the ballot.


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