Somewhere in the halls of government there are legislators who know that circumcision is very, very wrong
SAN DIEGO, CA (PRWEB) March 30, 2004
MGMbill.org announced that it submitted its male genital mutilation bill proposals to Congress and the California State Legislature for consideration. Both bills would amend current laws that protect girls from circumcision but not boys Â a situation that a growing number of people believe is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The proposed bills were faxed to each member of Congress and the California State Legislature on February 23rd, with the exception of 22 legislators whose fax machines were unreachable. MGMbill.org enlisted the services of a Washington, D.C., lobbying support firm to coordinate the faxing task (638 faxes in all), with the remaining 22 members receiving their bills via email.
Matthew Hess, President of San Diego based MGMbill.org, said he hopes to find a few sympathetic lawmakers who will agree to sponsor his bills. "Somewhere in the halls of government there are legislators who know that circumcision is very, very wrong," said Hess. "Genital mutilation is an issue that both political parties should be able to come together on to address, and I hope that some of our elected leaders are willing to step forward and sponsor this legislation. Boys are entitled to the same legal protection from circumcision as girls under the Fourteenth Amendment, but the law as it is currently written protects only girls.Â
Both of HessÂs bills would also provide protection from genital mutilation to intersex children, and would increase the maximum imprisonment time for an offense to 14 years (from the current 5 - 7 years).
ÂIntersex people are a widely misunderstood group,Â said Hess. ÂAfter all, most of us were taught that there are only two sexes Â male and female. But in reality sex is sometimes measured in degree, and intersex people have a right to keep their genital organs intact the same as other children. Through education and understanding, the world can learn to accept intersex people as they are - the same way we learned to accept those of different races, colors, and sexual orientations.Â
Hess concedes that he faces a challenge in getting his bills passed. ÂThere will be opposition to these bills,Â he acknowledged. ÂBut if neither bill passes this year, then I will be back next year, and the year after that. This is the beginning of a long term effort.Â
MGMbill.org is not alone in its opposition to male genital mutilation. March 30th marks the eighth anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1996, a date that is a call to action for many human rights groups around the country. Protesters began filing into Washington, D.C., today to prepare for the 11th Annual March Against Infant Circumcision, where demonstrators will voice their opposition to male circumcision in front of the U.S. Capitol, The Supreme Court, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Male genital mutilation, commonly referred to as circumcision, is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis. Although medical research shows that the foreskin is richly endowed with thousands of specialized nerve endings capable of feeling sexual pleasure, and that a foreskin makes intercourse more pleasurable for both the male and his partner, nonmedical circumcision still persists in the United States. In 2004, it is estimated that up to 60% of American boys will have their foreskins surgically removed for social, ÂhygienicÂ, or religious reasons.
The full text of the bill proposals is posted at http://www.mgmbill.org/pressrelease4.htm .