Backer Drops Push To Ban Circumcision, Blames ‘Religious’ Media

SANTA MONICA (CBS) — An effort to put a measure banning circumcision of minors on the ballot in Santa Monica was dropped Monday by its proponent after drawing heavy criticism from local Jewish groups.

Jena Troutman told The Jewish Journal she was abandoning the effort before any signatures were gathered because of the news media’s misrepresentation of her attempt as an attack on religious freedom.

“It shouldn’t be about religion in the first place,” Troutman, a lactation consultant, told The Jewish Journal. “Ninety-five percent of people aren’t doing it for religious reasons and with everyone from The New York Times to Glenn Beck focusing on the religious issue, it’s closing Americans down to the conversation.”

A measure that would ban circumcision of minors will appear on the November ballot in San Francisco.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom told City News Service he was pleased

Troutman decided to drop her attempt to qualify the initiative for the November 2012 ballot.

“I met with about 20 rabbis and Jewish community leaders this morning and we were prepared to launch a campaign to defeat the measure,” said Bloom, who is a candidate for the Assembly.

“With an early end to the Santa Monica effort, I hope that opponents will now turn our attention north and help our friends in San Francisco achieve the same result. It is no less important that it be defeated there, than here.”

Before it was known that Troutman was dropping her effort, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee issued a statement Monday expressing “great concern” about the possible ballot measure.

“For many, male circumcision is a religious decision that is squarely within the legal right of parents to make for their infant sons,” the statement said. “For thousands of years, Jews around the world have engaged in this important religious ritual. The covenant of circumcision is fundamental to the practice of Judaism.

In addition to Judaism, circumcision of boys is also part of the Muslim faith.

According to Troutman’s website,, newborn circumcision poses risks to the baby, is extremely painful, disrupts the normal mother-infant bonding process and can cause sexual dysfunction as an adult.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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