OU Commends German Parliament Passage of Legislation Protecting Ritual Circumcision

Posted on December 12, 2012 In Press Releases

Contact: Nathan Diament
December 12, 2012

Today, the Orthodox Union commended the German Parliament for approving a bill, which explicitly permits infant male circumcision. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority, 434 to 100, with 46 abstentions.

Circumcision was criminalized earlier this year in Cologne, Germany, which made the need for this legislation to be passed even greater.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (“Orthodox Union”) is the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization. Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s Executive Director for Public Policy, stated:

“We commend the German legislature, and the government of Chancellor Merkel, for their response to the Cologne court decision and welcome the legislation which upholds religious freedom and offers legal security to the faith communities of Germany.  We also express our appreciation to leaders in the U.S. Congress, with whom we have worked these past months, to encourage the German government to achieve this result.”

Under the new law, circumcisions must be performed by a medically trained and certified practitioner such as a mohel, ritual circumciser, or a certified medical professional.  The law further stipulates that all circumcisions performed on a child over the age of six months be performed in a hospital.