German court rules religious circumcision illegal

After generations of reluctance to confront a ‘sensitive religious issue’ – seemingly content to allow boys to be sexually mutilated – the legal system of one of the world’s largest secular democracy’s has taken decisive action. The regional court in Cologne this week found the practice of circumcising children before they could decide for themselves amounted to grievous bodily harm, with the finding expected to set a legal precedent.

This is great news for future generations of males in Germany, who now seem destined to enjoy legal protection from forced genital cutting practices, along with a number of other jurisdictions around the world, who are also moving towards banning circumcision.

The finding comes at a significant time, with the Australian government having recently announced a review into Medicare funding of circumcision. As the world’s only national government to fund non-therapeutic circumcision surgery for male minors, perhaps this will be the wake-up call the Australian government needs. The only appropriate course of action at this time is for the upcoming ‘review ‘ to be transferred from the Health Department to the Attorney General’s Department.

Read more here.

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7 thoughts on “German court rules religious circumcision illegal

  1. Is it ever okay to pin down a perfectly healthy child and cut them?

    What about is it’s ‘just’ boys, with full legal protection being afforded to girls?

    What about if it’s ‘just’ part of a boys penis, with the rest of his body afforded normal rights?

    It doesn’t really make sense, does it? When you really think about it, ‘religious freedom’ is such a false and hollow argument to justify adults exercising their power over a weak and vulnerable baby in such a brutal and harmful fashion.

    To paraphrase Britton, Marcus Brigstocke, a baby is no more a member of a Muslim or Jewish culture than he is a member of the Australian Workers Union. It follows that parents – however well intentioned – forcefully imposing a cultural blood ritual on a defenceless child based their own belief system cannot possibly be justified.

    The German legal system to be congratulated on making a rights-based determination in support of children. I trust the German government stands firm in the face of fierce Islamophonia / antisemitism accusations, which will surely follow this decision.

  2. “We should take a long, hard look at allowing parents to determine that their boys should be circumcised for no convincing rational reasons. There appears to be a societal change in Australia as the rate of circumcision is in decline. It may be time for the law to catch up and prohibit male circumcision unless it is required for pressing medical reasons, or is performed on a consenting adult. This would bring the law in line with current medical knowledge.” – Cornelia Koch, Senior Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School.
    http://blogs.adelaide.edu.au/public-law-rc/2012/06/29/is-the-circumcision-of-a-young-boy-a-crime-yes-according-to-a-german-court/

  3. 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
    Bundesverfassungsgericht
    Karlsruhe

    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.

  4. Dear Tel,

    thanks for your statement (Germans probably aren’t the best authorities when it comes to Jewish rights.).

    Certainly all actions of the German State concerning his Jews are regarded internationally in some measure (and with great justice) as in the shadow of Auschwitz, or how they do (not) fit with the antisemitism of the Nazi-era.

    But we don’t need Jewish rights and non-Jewish rights. We need citizen rights. As religious rights are always discriminatory, a secular society can and should declare Halacha or Islamic Law (Sharia) as illegal. One Law For All.

    Best regards
    Cees

    New Report – Sharia Law in Britain – A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights

    http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/new-report-sharia-law-in-britain-a-threat-to-one-law-for-all-and-equal-rights/

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