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Oregon Supreme Court blocks circumcision! - Page 3

post #41 of 60
Well he has been fighting since the kid was 9 to be able to cut his son. : Adding in flimsy medical excuses and the fact that he is having it done by a urologist.
post #42 of 60
Thread Starter 
Their brief:

http://www.adl.org/civil_rights/ab/B...rits%20(3).pdf


Quote:
Children who are circumcised must re-affirm their commitment to
being a Jew upon reaching the age of 13. The importance of circumcision is recognized
by the largest streams of Judaism in the United States. Orthodox, Conservative, and
Reform Judaism all require circumcision for male children born as Jews. Conservative
Judaism (which is the stream of Judaism at issue in this case) requires circumcision for
uncircumcised male converts. Jewish law does not allow forced conversions. The person
who conducts the circumcision is always a trained specialist who has studied all the
relevant laws and has also completed a prolonged, intensive apprenticeship. Often, these
individuals are also doctors and are licensed at hospitals.
Quote:
It ir the position of amici that routine male circumcision is precisely the type of religious and medical decision that is squarely within the rights of a custodial
parent and that discretion to make that decision has been granted by Oregon law and by
constitutional right to the custodial parent. Enabling the circumcision of a child, whether
as part of a religious conversion or for medical reasons, cannot as a matter of law indicate
any infirmity in a parent's ability to function as a parent.
post #43 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Moreover, and decision to
single out circumcision as a basis for questioning the fitness of the custddial parent would
violate the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion. Finally, there is no
analogy between male circumcision and female genital mutilation, eithetr in terms of the
type of conduct involved or the potential risks presented, to sustain an equal protection
claim.
I dunno why some of the spellings get mixed up when I cut and paste from adobe, sorry about that.
post #44 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Nor does it matter that the medical procedure in this case is elective.
Surely a parent has the same authority to have a child's vision corrected or a birthmark on
his face removed even if those procedures are also elective and even if the other parent
objects. All of these decisions fall within the custodial parent's right and duty to care for
his child, and they are not open to challenge by the non-custodial parent.
They argue that MIsha wants to be circumcised based on affadavits given by various people (none of which are the child himself, mind you). But then they argue that his opinion doesn't matter because it is the custodial parent that gets to decide:

Quote:
As explained above, without the showing of a substantial change in circumstances
in the capability of a parent, Oregon law does not require an evidentiary hearing to
determine the best interests of the child. In any event, it is not apparent phat a hearing
would have accomplished in developing the record that was not apparent from the
pleadings filed on both sides.
Again the errors in spelling are coming from my copy and paste from adobe.


And this bit is especially telling:

Quote:
If the Court decides that routine circumcision requires a hearing to determine
whether it is in the best interests of the child, it will open the door to endless litigation
about every medical or religious decision on which the divorced parents disagree.
Assigning a parent custody is intended to vest decision-making power in the person who
is most responsible for the child's upbringing.

I also recommend reading their take on how FGM and MGM are different and cannot be compared in any way.
post #45 of 60
I also noticed reading that the father had a hatafat dam brit when he converted which means he was circ'd already. Which leaves me with further questions regarding his insistance that the boy be circ'd. That, combined with his 3 year fight to cut his son, his attempts to add an unproven medical reason to his supposed religious one seriously makes me question his true motivation in this suit.

Because if the child really does want to convert and be circ'd there is nothing stopping him in a few years when he is an adult.
post #46 of 60
I'm rethinking saying so much.

I just hope the courts listen to Misha and respect his wishes.
post #47 of 60
I'm rethinking saying so much.
post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I also noticed reading that the father had a hatafat dam brit when he converted which means he was circ'd already. Which leaves me with further questions regarding his insistance that the boy be circ'd. That, combined with his 3 year fight to cut his son, his attempts to add an unproven medical reason to his supposed religious one seriously makes me question his true motivation in this suit.

Because if the child really does want to convert and be circ'd there is nothing stopping him in a few years when he is an adult.
I agree. There are many things that don't add up between what Mommy and Daddy are saying.
post #49 of 60
Quote:
But they did also express a distinct wish that the boy not be heard as part of this case and that the statements of others about his wishes should suffice.
Yeah that is the part that was clearly self serving and totally squicked me out.
post #50 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
Don;t worry, you won't get yelled at by me I agree with you that they tried to remove themselves from Boldt in some ways, yet they travel outside the realm of religious circumcision (talkijng about FGM, Misha's adhesions, HIV protection, etc)
I think it's an automatic thing these days that when defending any type of circ., even ritual, one adds medical benefits too. Perhaps that's because many people might not respect religion but they will respect doctors (irrelevant of the accuracy of the doctor's statements).

Quote:
But they did also express a distinct wish that the boy not be heard as part of this case and that the statements of others about his wishes should suffice.
I don't think I read that far in the letter but I'm not sure why they would say that.
post #51 of 60
Thread Starter 
The big reason is preservation. BY letting Misha speak, a court precedent may be created. Thus, others may get a say in their circumcision. So, the brief uses language like the following:

Quote:
As explained above, without the showing of a substantial change in circumstances
in the capability of a parent, Oregon law does not require an evidentiary hearing to
determine the best interests of the child. In any event, it is not apparent phat a hearing
would have accomplished in developing the record that was not apparent from the
pleadings filed on both sides.
Quote:
If the Court decides that routine circumcision requires a hearing to determine
whether it is in the best interests of the child, it will open the door to endless litigation
about every medical or religious decision on which the divorced parents disagree.
Assigning a parent custody is intended to vest decision-making power in the person who
is most responsible for the child's upbringing.
post #52 of 60
Sara I did really appreciate reading your thoughts before they went *poof*.

What a messed up world we live in. This should not be a parenting decison, to alter a child's body against their will without clear medical indication. Every human being should have the right to an intact body guaranteed under law.

We protect girls, yet boys can have their genitals altered at their parent's whim...how obviously ridiculous.
post #53 of 60
Thread Starter 
I hope you didn't feel offended by our conversation. I think your opinion and take are very worthy to be discussed here. (i can edit my posts as well if you want me to, please let me know)
post #54 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
And for those who are interested the Amicus brief from Doc can be found here and a second document, brief supporting the petition for review is here.
post #55 of 60
I appreciate the kind words. It's always hard to understand how one's words are taken when using a medium such as the internet.
post #56 of 60
Thanks for everyone for the great info and pespectives.

I wonder if more will come of this case as far as appeals and legal precedent? I mean if in this case the boy has the right to choose at his age then why wouldn't any child have the right to choose?

And I am sure I am not the only one who is sick of people saying 'oh by FGM is DIFFERENT!!' OK so how about it we have it done in a hospital with a bit of a numbing agent and just take the prepuce off? She'll only be a day or two old but won't remember. Even if we're comparing apples to apples it is still horrifying to think of so I don't get why people can't see that!
post #57 of 60
Quote:
Thanks for everyone for the great info and pespectives.

I wonder if more will come of this case as far as appeals and legal precedent? I mean if in this case the boy has the right to choose at his age then why wouldn't any child have the right to choose?
See http://www.mothering.com/sections/ne...eligiouschoice for some discussion of what happens now. Remember that the court decided that he did not have the right to choose.
post #58 of 60
I have removed a great deal of posts from this thread that discussed religious circumcision. Please remember our forum guidelines Religious Discussion in this Forum regarding religious discussion in this forum. If you have any further questions, please address your moderators via PM, not within this thread.

I have returned this thread because it's an important discussion. Please remember our user agreement and guidelines while continuing this discussion.
post #59 of 60
Quote:
Moreover, and decision to
single out circumcision as a basis for questioning the fitness of the custddial parent would
violate the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion. Finally, there is no
analogy between male circumcision and female genital mutilation, eithetr in terms of the
type of conduct involved or the potential risks presented, to sustain an equal protection
claim.
I really got angered with this statement. They talk about protecting religious rights, but yet forget to mention the rights of the person (which in most situations in law, comes first). I am fine with parents making choices that effect me during my childhood, choices that NEED to be made. But parents should not have the right to forever take away rights of a future adult.

Also, if this was a court case where a father wanted to cover his sons body with tattoos, or piercings, maybe because of native religious rights, I seriously doubt this judge would be saying the same things, even though (legally) it would be the same situation.

I HATE that they said that FGM and MGM are nothing alike. Considering FGM is an umbrella term for anything as small as a pin prick on female genitals. So OBVIOUSLY there are areas where the two overlap, and where girls are being protected and boys are not.

What all these FGM people say about it being totally different, would be true, IF legally in the US the only protection girls had was from extreme FGM, because then (legally) the two terms would be completely different, but since they very much overlap, what the court said is completely untrue!
post #60 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by perspective View Post
I really got angered with this statement. They talk about protecting religious rights, but yet forget to mention the rights of the person (which in most situations in law, comes first). I am fine with parents making choices that effect me during my childhood, choices that NEED to be made. But parents should not have the right to forever take away rights of a future adult.

Also, if this was a court case where a father wanted to cover his sons body with tattoos, or piercings, maybe because of native religious rights, I seriously doubt this judge would be saying the same things, even though (legally) it would be the same situation.

I HATE that they said that FGM and MGM are nothing alike. Considering FGM is an umbrella term for anything as small as a pin prick on female genitals. So OBVIOUSLY there are areas where the two overlap, and where girls are being protected and boys are not.

What all these FGM people say about it being totally different, would be true, IF legally in the US the only protection girls had was from extreme FGM, because then (legally) the two terms would be completely different, but since they very much overlap, what the court said is completely untrue!
Sadly it is in large part the way Oregon law is written that this is possible. There is an Oregon state law setting the age of consent for medical procedures - I don't have it in front of me but I believe it is 15 or 16 - which allows parents to impose medical procedures, even unnecessary ones (including cosmetic surgery), on non-consenting children. Also the Oregon law against FGM says:

"163.207 Female Genital Mutilation

(1) A person commits the crime of female genital mutilation if the person:
(a) Knowingly circumcises, excises or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a child; or
(b) Is the parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for the care or custody of a child and knowingly allows the circumcision, excision or infibulation of the whole or any part of the child’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.
(2) Female genital mutilation is a Class B felony.
(3)(a) A person who circumcises, excises or infibulates the whole or any part of a child’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris does not violate subsection (1) of this section if:
(A) The person is a physician, licensed to practice in this state; and
(B) The surgery is medically necessary for the physical well-being of the child.
(b) In determining medical necessity for purposes of paragraph (a)(B) of this subsection, a person may not consider the effect on the child of the child’s belief that the surgery is required as a matter of custom or ritual. [1999 c.737 §1] "

If this law referred to the cutting of genitalia, without making specific reference to female genitalia, the equal protection argument would be much easier in Boldt. Though I think the argument (ignored by the Court) that it is unequal protection to pass a law protecting female genitalia without passing one protecting male genitalia, is a very good one. FGM and MGM don't have to be similar procedures (or arise from similar motivation) other than for both to involve surgical alteration of genitals for non-medical reasons. Addressed that way, one could challenge the constitutionality of the FGM law. The risk in that is that it could lead to a finding that states can't outlaw FGM unless they outlaw MGM - in practice a tough sell since who wants to effectively support keeping FGM legal.

Also keep in mind that the quote you posted about is not from the Court decision, it is from the amicus brief filed by the Jewish organizations. The Court does not discuss FGM at all.

The Court here had the opportunity, through deciding the constitutional issues, to find that minors have a constitutionally protected right to bodily integrity. The Court didn't do that. The case has not been decided based on anyone's religious rights. The Court's holding is that this is the parents' decision, regardless of the parents' motivation.
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