Category Archives: Legislation

Vernon Quaintance sentenced

On October 3rd, 2014, Vernon Quaintance was sentenced to two years and four months in prision for targeting young boys and asking them to expose themselves under the pretense of inspecting whether or not they were circumcised. Judge Anthony Leonard QC said Quaintance used his interest in the surgical procedure to look at young boys. The judge took into consideration that this offending did not carried over into Quaintance’s later years, and his less than perfect health, to offer some allowance.

Quaintaince recently confessed to a string of offences against five young boys as young as 10 in the 1960s and 1970s. Thousands of images were found in his computer, many showing bloody and ritualistic circumcisions in the Brazilian rainforest.

The Croydon Advertiser referred to Quaintance as “circumcision fetishist”, paedophile, pervert, deviant, and stated that the Gilgal Society was just a facade for the ‘distribution of images of young boys’ for erotic and paedophilic use.

While the Gilgal Society’s website has been removed, its content remains public as the Circumcision Helpdesk, which is openly registered to Quaintaince.

Judge, keep your hands off my penis

Judge Jeffrey Gillen

Judge Jeffrey Gillen

A Florida judge has ruled that a mother must submit her 3 and 1/2 year old son to circumcision as required by the father, in spite of the mother’s fear of the risk of death related to general anesthesia, and in spite of admitting that the procedure is not medically necessary.

Circwatch has compiled lists of documented catastrophic complications of circumcisions during 2013, and prior to 2013 here.

The mother is currently filing an appeal to the ruling and has setup a GoFundMe page to accept donations towards the protection of her son.

It is important to remember that in Israel, a rabbinical court last year ruled that a mother should submit her son to circumcision or be fined US$140 daily, as part of divorce proceedings. The Supreme Court accepted an appeal and the Attorney General has argued that the rabbinical court overstepped its jurisdiction in this case.

There is a legal precedent in the United States, in the case of Boldt vs. Boldt, where a father wanted to have his 9 year old son circumcised as part of his own conversion to Judaism. The son argued that he did not want to be circumcised, did not want to join judaism, and did not want to live with his father. The court finally recognized that the child’s preferences should be considered.

At 3 and 1/2 years of age, the child will remember. Furthermore, he is already aware of his body, so any irreversible decision that is not medically necessary should be consulted with him.

The circumcision status of the judge is of relevance, as men circumcised during the neonatal stage may fail to recognize the loss and harm of circumcision. If the judge is biased towards circumcision, a different judge should take the case.

Courts have a duty to protect those most vulnerable. In this case, the one more vulnerable is not the father, but the child, who will be faced with a painful disfigurement procedure.

Given the potential risks and the harms of circumcision, a court-mandated circumcision is nothing but legally mandated child endangerment. Should anything go wrong, it is not the judge nor the father who will have to live with the consequences.

Circwatch will keep an eye on this proceeding and sincerely hopes that this Floridian court will see the light and leave the child’s genitals alone.

Rabbi Avrohom Cohn proudly breaks the law during ritual circumcisions


There are so many things wrong with this, I can only refer you to the article on Forward, about how this New York City mohel (and chairman of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision) proudly breaks the law requiring him to obtain signed parental consent from parents before performing the ritual of metzitzah b’Peh (oral suction) after circumcision, even when parents have instructed him not to do it.

Where do we draw the line between child endangerment and religious freedom?

Please read:


City Council David Greenfield wants Mohelin to be able to suck babies penises without parental consent after circumcision

In any other instance, this outrageous action of sucking a newborn’s penis would constitute sexual abuse. But cut the foreskin in a religious ceremony, and now you are free to do it, and you shouldn’t even have to ask the baby’s parents if they agree, even if you may be carrying the Herpes virus in your mouth.

Thank you New York City Council David Greenfield for further enabling religious freedom to be used as a excuse for Ritual Abuse of Minors.

Let’s remember that this is not just a possibility. Just in April of this year 2 babies were reported to have contracted Herpes because of this ritual, and this infection that can be life threatening or permanently disabling for a newborn.

If this bill is enacted, every new baby infected with HPV by the means of Metzitzah b’Peh should know that this man is responsible for his tragedy.

City Council David Greenfield Metzitzah b’Peh (literally, “Oral Suction”)

From The Jewish Week:

 “This is one of the most outrageous examples of government intruding into the ability of residents to freely practice their religion without restrictions based on questionable findings.” said Greenfield, a Democrat, in his remarks, which were forwarded to the press.

“I continue to be outraged that the city took this incredibly misguided step last year, and will fight until the board reverses its decision or this bill becomes law. It is imperative that every citizen, regardless of their particular religion, be able to practice and worship without the fear of being restricted or targeted by their own government.”

Samantha Levine, deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in an emailed response Tuesday that the city was acting to save lives.

“Health Department investigations of newborns with herpes virus between 2000–2013 have shown that 13 infants contracted the herpes virus when mohelim, or ritual circumcisers, placed their mouths directly on the child’s circumcision wound to draw blood away from the circumcision cut,” Levine said.

“Two of these babies died. The city’s highest obligation is to protect its children and it is critical for parents to know the risks associated with the practice.”

Danish Health Board decides that circumcision ban is not necessary

Danish Health Board decides that circumcision ban is not necessary. The current guidelines for male circumcision only require that boys aged 15 and over must consent to the procedure.

Genital mutilation is about power. Minors don’t have it.

The findings disappointed anti-circumcision group Intact, whose deputy chairman Leo Milgrom stated in a press release that it will mean that boys will continue to lose the right to decide over their own body.

“Even without all the weighty ethical considerations, and without all the many legal, sexual and psychological consequences, at the very least a scientific precautionary principle should apply: circumcision should be immediately stopped simply as a result of the scientific uncertainty described in the health agency’s own report,” Milgrom stated.

Intact argues that male ritual circumcision should be stopped because of unpredictable and unintended psychological consequences that the boys might suffer later in life. They argue that banning female circumcision yet allowing male circumcision, which they argue is equivalent, is discriminatory.

The United States government uses sexist standards in the assessment of religious genital cutting of minors

The United States of America has effectively displayed sexism in the assessment of the religious practice of genital cutting. In the Annual Report of the Commission on International Religious Freedom, the authors deplore that Western Europe is limiting religious circumcision (of male infants), while not making any mention at all of religious female circumcision, when in fact the United States has effectively limited the practice of religious female circumcision not only in its territory, but also uses its economic power to force other countries to limit this practice.

What we deplore here is not the limitation of FGM (which is a horrible practice and should be abhorred), but that a different standard is used when it comes to the genitals of baby boys. Such overseeing can only be the result of over 150 years of cultural bias.

The report states that


During the past few years there have been increasing restrictions on, and efforts to restrict, various forms of religious expression in Western Europe, particularly religious dress and visible symbols, ritual slaughter, religious circumcision, and the construction of mosques and minarets. These, along with limits on freedom of conscience and hate speech laws, are creating a growing atmosphere of intimidation against certain forms of religious activity in Western Europe. These restrictions also seriously limit social integration and educational and employment opportunities for the individuals affected.

United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom
732 North Capitol Street, N.W. Suite A714
Washington, D.C. 20401
tel: (202) 523-3240, fax: (202) 523-5020
Annual Report 2013
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Interestingly enough, female circumcision (or female genital mutilation) is not mentioned at all in the report, neither to condemn those countries where FGM is considered to be a religious ritual, neither to defend the practice of FGM in those countries where the practice has been restricted by existing legislation (including the United States).

Some will argue that the practice of FGM is cultural and not religious, as it is not mentioned on religious texts (such as the Qur’an). However, in many of the places where FGM is practiced, people (including religious leaders) consider it to be a part of their religion (especially among some Islamic groups).

In the United States, the practice of FGM is prohibited by law, and the law specifically does not allow for religious exceptions, see H.R. 941:

Sec. 116. Female genital mutilation

    `(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

    `(b) A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if the operation is–

        `(1) necessary to the health of the person on whom it is performed, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner; or

        `(2) performed on a person in labor or who has just given birth and is performed for medical purposes connected with that labor or birth by a person licensed in the place it is performed as a medical practitioner, midwife, or person in training to become such a practitioner or midwife.

    `(c) In applying subsection (b)(1), no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that or any other person that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.

And in fact, Section 645 of H.R. 4278 effectively uses the economic power of the United States to force other nations into limiting the practice of FGM:


SEC. 579. (a) LIMITATION- Beginning 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States Executive Director of each international financial institution to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose any loan or other utilization of the funds of their respective institution, other than to address basic human needs, for the government of any country which the Secretary of the Treasury determines–

        (1) has, as a cultural custom, a known history of the practice of female genital mutilation; and

        (2) has not taken steps to implement educational programs designed to prevent the practice of female genital mutilation.

Not only that, but it’s interesting that a State Bill introduced in Illinois in 2013 by Don Harmon (which was rejected), while trying to prevent the ritualized abuse of children, specifically stated that male circumcision was not covered under that bill. In other words, had it been approved, it would have been unlawful to ritually force the ingestion of a narcotics and anesthesia, followed by torture, and mutilation of a minor, unless his foreskin was being removed as the result of the ritual.

Sec. 12-33. Ritualized abuse of a child.
16            (a) A person commits ritualized abuse of a child when he or
17        she knowingly commits any of the following acts with, upon, or
18        in the presence of a child as part of a ceremony, rite or any
19        similar observance:
20                (1) actually or in simulation, tortures, mutilates, or
21            sacrifices any warm-blooded animal or human being;
22                (2) forces ingestion, injection or other application
23            of any narcotic, drug, hallucinogen or anesthetic for the
24            purpose of dulling sensitivity, cognition, recollection
25            of, or resistance to any criminal activity;

16            (b) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed
17        to apply to:
21                (2) the lawful medical practice of male circumcision or
22            any ceremony related to male circumcision;

So why is it that it is improper to cut the genitals of a female minor regardless of religious or cultural beliefs, but it is deplorable to limit the perceived “right” to cut male minors’ genitals as part of a religious ritual?

Perhaps because “circumcision” sounds respectable… Until we describe it as what it really is, cutting part of the penis of a baby!