Santa Monica – Residents in Santa Monica, CA may be voting on a new ballot initiative in 2012. The group, MGM Bill has a proposal that would make it a a misdemeanor to circumcise a male before age 18. Female circumcision, or also called female genital mutilation, is already outlawed in California and the U.S.
Jena Troutman, a spokeswoman for the group MGM Bill and founder of the website wholebabyrevolution.com, says males should get the same protection from genital mutilation as females. She notes that the bill they are proposing is identical to one that already prohibits female genital mutilation.
The proposal contains no religious exemptions and has raised questions regarding a possible First Amendment violation.
Peter Eliasberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the measure might pass a First Amendment challenge. "If there is some support [among medical doctors or psychologists] for the idea that circumcision hurts children, the government could do this," he said.
However, David David Lahrer, a Jewish leader, told the Los Angeles Times in an article published Tuesday that the proposal “takes the notion of the mommy state to a ridiculous extreme.” He even stated that “it probably touches on being anti-Semitic.”
But Troutman takes the constitutional argument in a different direction stating that it’s an issue of equal protection as stated in the 14th Amendment.
“This bill is identical to a female genital mutilation bill that has already passed,” Troutman told Foxnews.com.
But Lahrer says that it is "idiotic" to compare circumcision to female genital mutilation.
Whether Santa Monica voters get their say on the measure or not, the campaign has already sparked heated debate.
“We just need 6,000 signatures. We are very optimistic," Troutman said confidently. "The whole baby revolution is sweeping the nation, and I’m trying to educate parents.”
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report