Thursday, December 13, 2012

German Bundestag Passes Law Allowing Religious Circumcision of Boys

According to the New York Times, Germany's Bundestag yesterday passed legislation confirming the legality of religious circumcision.  The issue had been thrown into doubt after a Cologne district court last June held that parents lack the right to decide that their young sons should be circumcised for non-medical reasons. (See prior posting.) The new law, passed in the Bundestag by a vote of 434 to 100, with 46 abstentions, allows circumcisions to be carried out for religious or other reasons "in accordance with medical practice."  Specially trained members of a religious community (such as a Jewish mohel) can perform the procedure for boys 6 months old or younger.  Circumcisions on boys over 6 months old are required to be performed by a physician. In either case, both parents must consent to the procedure.


jimbino said...

This seems to have little practical effect, since Germans could easily cross a local border to another country that permits sexual mutilation of little boys; indeed, a Jewish woman could do the same to her boy even if the father objected, whether she were married, separated or divorced.

The same options are available to Amerikans, since it's easy to cross the border to Mexico and do all kinds of things not permitted in the USSA, like slaughter a horse, kill a neigbors trespassing cat, buy prescription drugs over-the-counter, ets.

froginblender said...

It would have been a very important "win" for the anti-circumcision activists if they had gotten their way in Germany, or even if they had suffered only a narrow defeat instead of the crushing 434 to 100 vote.

Conversely, this setback for them increases the likelihood that no European country will outlaw circumcision at least in the foreseeable future.

Personally I am pleased with the outcome. I hope the activists realize that they've lost and withdraw from the public square for the next thirty years or so.