German Lawmakers Approve Bill to Keep Circumcision Legal
The German Bundestag (legislature) has overwhelmingly approved a resolution that explicitly permits male infant circumcision, ending months-long uncertainty for Jewish and Muslim groups, the Associated Press reported.
Jewish groups applauded the German government’s vote, which passed with 434 lawmakers in favor, 100 against and 46 abstaining.
“The Bundestag action is a welcome affirmation of Germany’s commitment to religious freedom,” said Deidre Berger, director of American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Berlin Office, in a press statement.
“What’s important for us is the political message of this law, which is that Jewish and Muslim life is still welcome here,” Dieter Graumann, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told AP.
In June 2012, a German court in Cologne issued a ruling that banned circumcision, including religious circumcisions. Jewish and Muslim leaders at the time called the ban “an outrageous and insensitive act,” and both Israel’s president and chief rabbi urged Germany to lift the ban. Charges were even brought against two Jewish rabbis who continued practicing circumcision.