Santa Monica anti-circumcision bill dropped

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

A leader of the anti-circumcision push in Santa Monica has dropped the campaign in the wake of allegations that another Californian campaigner is using antisemitic tactics.

Moves were underway in Santa Monica to secure a public vote in November for an initiative calling for the circumcision of males under the age of 18 to be made illegal and punishable by jail time.

Activists needed to collect more than 6,000 signatures to make the Santa Monica MGM Bill Ballot Initiative subject to a city-wide vote.

In San Francisco, a similar bill has already won enough support to be eligible for the vote.

But Jena Troutman, the woman fronting the campaign in Santa Monica, said she had changed her mind and was dropping the issue.

 Monster Mohel

Monster Mohel

Her announcement came after Matthew Hess, the leader of the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Bill group, was accused of writing and distributing an antisemitic comic book featuring Foreskin Man and Monster Mohel.

Ms Trotman said she never wanted the "religious aspect" to feature in the circumcision debate. She said she now wanted to find a different way "to inform parents" about the procedure.

She said her goal was not religious conflict, just education.

The decision was praised by local rabbis and the city's mayor, Richard Bloom.

Last updated: 4:10pm, June 7 2011