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German Court Calls Circumcision Grievous Bodily Harm

June 26, 2012

In a landmark ruling in Germany, a court ruled that a child’s rights to have an intact body free from grievous harm outweighed the right of the parents to enforce their religious beliefs on their child by cutting his penis:

Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents’ religious rights.

The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”, a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.

“The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised,” the court added…

“The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision,” the court said. “This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.”

Unsurprisingly, members of the Jewish community have defended what they believe to be purely a religious act, the cutting off of son’s foreskin:

The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination.”

The judgement was an “outrageous and insensitive act. Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries,” added Graumann.

“This religious right is respected in every country in the world

You’ve got to admit that simply arguing that it’s been done before, and even done a long time ago, isn’t a stellar argument.  Slavery was supposedly acceptable just 200 years ago, and it’s not anymore in America.  The concept of child brides is now derided as child rape, and this was part of supposed religious custom, as well.  Female circumcision has been found to be a human rights violation, but some argue it’s a religious decision.

Pretty much the idea of a parent cutting a child’s genitals to mark them as part of the parents’ religious group removes the right of the child.

There was pending legislation in California, with the caption of something like ForeskinMan, designed to limit circumcising young boys. You can view the link here:

The California legislation didn’t get far, largely due to the significant Jewish population in the area, so it looks like the Germans are ahead of us on this one. (Get it? A head? Get it?) Let’s keep those heads intact.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Cees van der Duin permalink
    January 5, 2014 2:26 pm

    Activists File Complaint Against § 1631d BGB

    December 2013 — German intactivist movement tries to tackle circumcision law. Since december 2012 a circumcision law (§ 1631d BGB) principally allows parents to circumcize their son as desired. Now activists against HGM or any ritual mutilation (i. e. FGM and MGM) have written a petition to the German Supreme Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) and demand that the § 1631d BGB is declared as not being in accordance with the German constitution. Instead they call for an end of all circumcisions done without medical necessity.

    27. Dezember 2013
    an das

    Beschwerde gegen das Bundesgesetz über den Umfang der Personensorge bei einer Beschneidung des männlichen Kindes

    Die Beschwerdeführer legen daher gegen dieses Gesetz Beschwerde ein und beantragen durch eine einstweilige Anordnung nach § 32 Abs. 1 BVerfGG diese Vorschrift sofort außer Kraft zu setzen, um alle medizinisch nicht erforderlichen Beschneidungen, insbesondere Rituale wie Metzitzah B’Peh, pria und Praktiken wie im folgenden Link beschrieben, die sicherlich mit einer Zirkumzision lege artis nicht zu vereinbaren sind, trotzdem aber durchgeführt werden, zu verbieten bis das hohe Gericht über die Verfassungsbeschwerde entschieden hat.

    Die Beschwerdeführer beantragen zudem, die nicht medizinisch indizierte MGM an nicht einwilligungs- und urteilsfähigen Jungen auf die Liste der Auslandsstraftaten zu setzen, um sowohl Beschneidungstourismus zu verhindern als auch die gegebenenfalls erforderliche Strafverfolgung ortsunabhängig zu gewährleisten.

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