Monday, January 26, 2015

British Court Says Male Circumcision Cannot Be Equated With Female Genital Mutilation

A decision by a Family Court judge in Britain earlier this month tackled directly the argument that male circumcision should be equated with female genital mutilation and be banned just as female genital mutilation is.  In Matter of B and G (Children), (Family Ct., Jan. 14, 2015), the court found significant differences between the two procedures, saying:
in 2015 the law generally, and family law in particular, is still prepared to tolerate non-therapeutic male circumcision performed for religious or even for purely cultural or conventional reasons, while no longer being willing to tolerate FGM in any of its form....
FGM has no basis in any religion; male circumcision is often performed for religious reasons. FGM has no medical justification and confers no health benefits; male circumcision is seen by some (although opinions are divided) as providing hygienic or prophylactic benefits. Be that as it may, "reasonable" parenting is treated as permitting male circumcision.
UK Human Rights Blog has more on the decision. [Thanks to Law & Religion UK for the lead.]