Male circumcision ban proposed in Santa Monica
LAST UPDATED: 05/25/2011 13:32
Advocates of the bill say procedure is painful and unnecessary, equate procedure to female circumcision practices.
A brit mila in France. Photo: SERGE ATTAL / FLASH90
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.
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.
San Francisco to put circumcision ban on the ballot
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
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.