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Jan-15-2014 14:17printcomments

Will Male Circumcision be Banned in 2014?

"It is simply immoral to surgically remove any healthy, natural, normally functioning tissue from a human being without their consent" - Asa Rubin, director of's Massachusetts state office in Brookline


(WASHINGTON, DC) - As momentum continues to build against male circumcision, intactivists from around the USA have flooded Congress and 10 state legislatures with proposed legislation to ban genital cutting of boys. If enacted, the Male Genital Mutilation (MGM) Bill would amend existing female genital mutilation laws by making them gender neutral.

Asa Rubin, director of's Massachusetts state office in Brookline, feels that all boys need to be protected from what is increasingly being referred to as genital mutilation. "It is simply immoral to surgically remove any healthy, natural, normally functioning tissue from a human being without their consent," said Rubin. "The fact that the law only forbids such barbarism for females is discriminatory and downright unconstitutional. Genital integrity is a human right that should apply equally to both sexes."

A young mother from central Vermont has also joined the grassroots intactivist movement. “I have been against circumcision since researching it six years ago when my first son was born,” said Amanda Fortier, who serves as’s state office director in the city of Barre. “I try to educate everyone I know about the harm circumcision causes and that especially includes lawmakers, because they are in a position to stop it from happening. It should be obvious that healthy baby boys don’t need surgical correction. The foreskin performs important functions, just like our eyelids and earlobes.”

Male circumcision has commanded the attention of politicians and judges during the past year, beginning with a U.S. district court ruling that refused to block (1) a New York City regulation requiring circumcisers who perform metzitzah b'peh to obtain prior written consent from the parents. Then in September, Denmark’s Social Liberal Party raised the stakes when it passed a motion (2) to oppose all non-medical circumcision of underage boys. The Sweden Democrats party jumped in and introduced a similar measure (3) shortly thereafter.

The issue escalated two days later when a German court forbade a woman (4) from having her six-year old son circumcised because of the risk of psychological damage. Within a week, children’s ombudsmen from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland joined the Chair of the Danish Children's Council and the Children's spokesperson for Greenland to pass a joint resolution (5) urging their respective governments to ban circumcision of underage boys.

But the biggest advance occurred the very next day, when the influential Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution calling ritual male circumcision a violation of the physical integrity of children (6). The following month, Norway promised to introduce new legislation (7) that would regulate the practice. And in a surprise admission, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated his opinion that the 2011 San Francisco MGM Bill ballot measure would have been “perfectly valid” (8) had it been enacted.

In addition to submitting the MGM Bill proposal to every member of the 113th Congress, the group’s state offices submitted similar bills to every state lawmaker in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

  1. Fox News, Judge won't block New York City circumcision law, January 11, 2013.
  2. JTA, Danish coalition partner adopts anti-circumcision motion, September 18, 2013.
  3. JTA, Motion to ban non-medical circumcision introduced in Sweden, September 24, 2013.
  4. The Local, Court: circumcision too risky for six-year-old, September 26, 2013.
  5. National Secular Society, Nordic children’s ombudsmen take historic step to protect children’s rights, October 1, 2013.
  6. JTA, European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution, October 2, 2013.
  7. JTA, Norway to introduce new regulations on circumcision, November 12, 2013.
  8. The Jewish Week, On Circumcision, Scalia Surprises, November 12, 2013.



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Lawrence Newman February 1, 2016 7:49 pm (Pacific time)

This is sexual assault and sexual suppression.

Mimi January 31, 2014 4:19 am (Pacific time)

Oh, lovely-are they going to ban non-medical abortion too? The removal of a piece of a boy’s foreskin for religious purposes has gotten people’s knickers in a twist yet plucking a child out of its mother’s womb and throwing it in the garbage for personal convenience is fine. They’ve helpfully rationalized that one. Or giving children permanently mind and body-altering drugs to control their non-conformist behaviours at school or high-dose drugs (relatively untested) to prevent puberty? “Intactivists” single out religiously-motivated practices for attack but far worse “unethical” practices (according to their definition) are fine well, because they want to do them. And it’s naïve to think that these “progressive” policies have nothing to do with Islamophobia or anti-Semitism or deterring “ethnic” immigration. Welcome to the secular Third Reich. The government enforces ethnocentrism and white secular privilege by saying they are “protecting their children”. So not only do they get to enforce dogma, they get to feel good about it too. Every day parents make decisions that permanently affect their children’s lives-for better for worse. They decide to give them vaccines, send them to military school, let them go sky-diving, let them smoke pot: sometimes these choices lead to unalterable bad consequences. But they are our decisions to make. When you talk about disallowing this because of “the child’s choice” you are engaging in selective ethnocentrism--not every culture has the same notion of family or of separation of individuals and community—certainly Jews and Muslims don’t consider this practice ‘child abuse’ or they would not do it.

The intactivists attack the cutting off of the end of a boy's penis.  Get it right.  They disagree with MUTILATION but you apparently like the idea very much. Are you into female genital mutilation too? (Right as long as the Muslims think it is OK in your book).  Religious mutilation practices should all be illegal.  The thing is, the intactivists are strong and they make perfect sense, the male loses thirty percent of the sexual nerve endings that cause sex to be enjoyable.  It sickens me that people are still rooting for this mutilation of baby penises.  As Agron Belica says in his first anti-circumcision song, "Leave those babies alone"!  

Greg Allan January 17, 2014 12:46 am (Pacific time)

@LA... Your allusion to "sex crime" is quite close to the mark. If parents were to hand their infant over to a third party for the purposes of merely fondling that child's genitals all three adults could and should be charged with child sexual abuse. Doing the same in order to mutilate and inflict agony upon that child is, for some bizarre reason, considered a parental or religious right.

Gary Harryman January 16, 2014 10:24 pm (Pacific time)

Forced sexual mutilation, male or female, leaves the victim sub-normalized for life and is a violation of the victim's fundamental human rights.

Mike January 16, 2014 8:59 pm (Pacific time)

It's barbaric; why is this muslim practice being tolerated? Imagine Jews didn't do it; we'd have been outraged at the barbarity of it and banned it and arrested perps long ago. That's how it should be, period.

LA January 15, 2014 9:27 pm (Pacific time)

God, I hope so. Circumcision is a sex crime committed every day against baby boys (and older boys and girls in other parts of the world). Cutting children's genitals unnecessarily--what could be more repulsive? And yet it remains hushed up and unquestioned because it is so bizarre that no one (especially the victims) want to talk about it.

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