Denmark's proposed ban on circumcisions could change how the world looks at dicks
Denmark is famous for passing profoundly progressive laws. It was the first country in the world to pass environmental regulations, to legalize pornography, and recognize same sex marriage. Now, it’s close to becoming the first nation to ban the circumcision of boys.
Although government members would rather not interfere with their citizens’ penises, the country’s Parliament will soon be forced to consider the issue.
In Denmark, any petition that can amass 50,000 signatures is legally entitled to a debate and vote. The controversial proposal, which demands a minimum age of 18 for circumcision, reached its 50,000th signature on June 1.
Danish doctors came out against snipping babies’ foreskins in the summer of 2016. The Danish Medical Association publicly announced that circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men should make for themselves. Nationally representative surveys have found that 87 percent of Denmark’s citizens agree with their country's doctors, and support a legal ban.
The petition calls for a six-year prison sentence for people who perform circumcisions on minors, unless there is a medical reason. The prison sentence was inspired by a UN convention that requires the same six-year penalty for female genital mutilation.
Critics say the ban would limit the religious freedoms of Danish parents. Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each year, primarily on Jewish and Muslim boys. They’re mostly done outside the public health system, at religious ceremonies.
“The proposal takes as a starting point that Jews are child molesters,” Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairman of The Jewish Community in Denmark, told the New York Times.
“Next up for discussion could be the right to wear a veil, to pray, to read the Bible or go to church on Sundays,” added Waseem Hussain, an imam from the Danish Islamic Center.
Experts estimate that 38 percent of men worldwide are circumcised, half of them for religious reasons.
When the government brings circumcision to the table, members will be forced to discuss religious freedom in Denmark. They’ll be forced to choose between the rights of the parent and the rights of the child.
The world population of uncircumcised dicks is in their hands.