July 6, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Circumcision Ban Withdrawn from Santa Monica:

About one week after a San Diego-based organization filed paperwork with Santa Monica’s City Clerk’s office to place a measure on the ballot banning male circumcisions, MGMBill.org appears to be retreating. According to various sources, Jena Troutman, a key advocate in favor of the male circumcision ban who filed the paperwork in Santa Monica, withdrew her proposed ballot measure on June 7. Later that day, a segment on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A? confirmed the news.

City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie said the proposed ballot measure, at least in its current form, indeed appears to be dead in the Santa Monica water, but the group is still moving forward with its campaign elsewhere.

“My understanding is that the measure is being withdrawn in Santa Monica but proceeding in San Francisco. I believe there will be a legal challenge there,” Moutrie said.

The proposed ballot measure would have banned circumcisions in the city for anyone under the age of 18. It also called for jail time and/or an imposition of $1,000 fine upon would-be violators.

A similarly proposed ban has already made it onto the November 2011 ballot in San Francisco.

Jonah Lowenfeld of the Jewish Journal appeared on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.? program on June 7, speaking with host Warren Olney of the withdrawn proposal and the reasons why Troutman and MGMBill.org have packed up their bags in Santa Monica, at least for now.

“She didn’t want the conversation to be about religious freedom,” Lowenfeld told Olney on the June 7 radio broadcast, adding the proposed ballot measure “did not give any exceptions for religion” in applying the circumcision ban to local hospitals.

Delving deeper in the issue, Lowenfeld further discussed with Olney the future of a potential ban on circumcision in Santa Monica and whether such a proposal and eventual legislation could ever exist without political controversies looming in the background.

“I don’t know how much of a taste she has for a big political fight, and I think it really will be a big political fight,” Lowenfeld explained on Which Way, L.A.?

Even more, Lowenfeld said while Monday’s withdrawal did not necessarily mean the issue is dead in Santa Monica, the success of any proposal to ban male circumcisions would require several concessions and a significant balancing of interests.

“The question would be is if the proponents of these kinds of measures could separate out the religious exemption. If they could give a religious exemption that would say to Jews and to Muslims and to other people who practice this by custom, that they could practice this without going to jail or without being fined $1,000, that may not necessarily get any sort of opposition.”

Until then, the political opposition against Troutman’s campaign to ban circumcisions will not be dissipating anytime soon, despite the withdrawal of her petition in Santa Monica, especially with a similar proposal already finding its place on a ballot a few hundred miles up the California coast in San Francisco.

Mayor Richard Bloom, who previously told the Mirror he was staunchly opposed to the proposed ban on circumcisions, reiterated his stance and explained he plans to work with other political leaders in challenging the ballot measure up north.

“I am pleased that Ms. Troutman has decided that she will not pursue the Santa Monica measure,” Bloom said. “However, the San Francisco version of this ill-conceived intrusion on parental rights and religious freedom is further along and is on the ballot there. So, I will turn my attention, and join other area leaders who are organizing to help defeat it in San Francisco.”

In light of the withdrawal, those affiliated with MGMBill.org – MGM stands for Male Genital Mutilation – were inundated with e-mails and requests for interviews. Accordingly, group members had directed all inquiries to its Twitter page, where MGMbill.org would post its public statements.

However the group’s president, Matthew Hess, did take a few moments to inform the Mirror of Troutman’s reasoning for yanking the proposed ballot measure on June 7.

“Jena withdrew the Santa Monica ballot measure on Monday. Jena was understandably concerned about being subjected to personal attacks from various religious groups. She also felt that many of the headlines in the news media were misrepresentative,” Hess said. “Even though there will be no ballot measure in Santa Monica, Jena did help bring additional exposure to the problem of forced circumcision in this country and that alone is an important accomplishment.”

He previously told the Mirror that circumcisions were not necessary and prevent men from having personal control over their bodies. Hess had also cited legal support for his group’s claims to ban male circumcision, including current legislation banning female genital mutilation, a section of the United States Code on Crimes and Criminal Procedure (Title 18, Section 116), and the Equal Protection element of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

in News
Related Posts

Landscaping 50 Percent Complete for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon

July 3, 2022

July 3, 2022

Officials provide update for park under construction By Dolores Quintana A recent update from the City of Los Angeles’ Department...

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth Sell Malibu Home for $29 Million

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

Malibu Colony home sold to unknown buyer in private sale By Dolores Quintana John McEnroe, a retired former tennis star,...

SMa.r.t. Column: A Tale of Two Cities

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, while the jurisdictions...

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ballot Measure That Would Increase Hotel Bed Tax

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Santa Monica’s bed tax has been raised since 2004 By Dolores Quintana In a vote on June 28, the Santa...

PETA Attempts to Stop the Beach Club From Holding Annual Fireworks Display

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Prepares for SMASH/Muir Campus Mold Removal

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Exact costs for repairs still unknown By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro  It is unknown exactly how much the total...

Watering Restrictions for Santa Monica Residents Take Effect Soon

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

New restrictions will go into effect on July 5, limiting watering to twice a week By Sam Catanzaro New restrictions...

Daily Harvest Recalls Meal Kits Handed out at Venice Event Following 470 Cases of Mysterious Illness

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Direct-to-consumer meal kit company under fire for handling of outbreak tied to lentil and leek meal kit By Sam Catanzaro...

Central Coast Brewery Makes Westside Acquisitions

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Figueroa Mountain Brewing acquires Broxton Brewery, The Stalking Horse and more. Staff, current beer taps to remain on board at...

Mexican Restaurant Possibly Expanding Into Former Swingers Space

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Bar Hermanito applies for an alcohol exemption sales permit for space at 802 Broadway in Santa Monica By Dolores Quintana...

Six Family-Fun Westside Fourth of July Events

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Fireworks, parades, runs and more taking place across the Westside  By Ashley Sloan  Pacific Palisades  The Pacific Palisades will be...

California Credit Union Awards Grant to Santa Monica Teacher

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Building electric circuit friendship detectors and applying engineering principles to solve real world problems are Westside school projects receiving funding...

Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange Presents: J.J. Martin’s “Role Models”

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce,...

Santa Monica City Council Approves New Rules to Streamline Meetings

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Pilot program will run through end of year By Dolores Quintana At the Santa Monica City Council meeting on June...

Banning Construction of New Gas Stations in Los Angeles?

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Motion from LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz calls for banning the building of any new gas pumping facilities By Sam...