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Will Male Circumcision be Banned in 2014?Salem-News.com
"It is simply immoral to surgically remove any healthy, natural, normally functioning tissue from a human being without their consent" - Asa Rubin, director of MGMbill.org'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 MGMbill.org'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 MGMbill.org’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.
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