An anti-circumcision group is holding a string of vociferous street protests in Canada to try and get the controversial procedure outlawed.
The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project claims to be the country’s ‘feistiest’ pro-foreskin advocacy group.
On its website it states its aim as being to give the human right of all children—male, female and intersex—to ‘grow up with intact genitals’.
Over the weekend demonstrations were staged across the city of Vancouver in British Colombia as campaigners stepped up their efforts to change the law.
Vocal protests took place outside a circumcision clinic and beside the College of Physicians and Surgeons and on Saturday night, there was an educational seminar extolling the virtues of foreskin.
In a video of one of the rally’s group leader Glen Callender tells placard-waving supporters: ‘I’m here today because I love my foreskin. Why do I love my foreskin? Because it is the most enjoyable part of my entire body.
Later in an interview Mr Callender added: ‘What our group is trying to do is extend the rights that girls already have – to be protected against any mutilation until they are 18 to boys and intersex kids.’
The protests coincided with Vancouver’s Pride parade, and on Sunday a pants-optional Foreskin Pride contingent marched in the main parade.
The events finished with a demonstration at Sunset Beach of which kind of fruit can be picked up with an uncircumcised penis – the answer being grapes.
However, the banning of circumcision has its detractors Vancouver surgeon Dr Neil Pollock – whose clinic was targeted by protesters – specializes in the procedure says he advocates it on medical grounds.
He says circumcision reduces the risks of urinary tract and penile infections and the risk of some sexually transmitted diseases and penile cancer.
The issue has received significant publicity over recent months after a court in Cologne, Germany, took the decision to outlaw circumcision on young boys because it can cause ‘illegal bodily harm’.
The step triggered an angry backlash among both Jewish and Islamic groups in the country which both advocate the procedure, a ritual in both religions.
Notably the Central Council of Jews in Germany, a body politicians and the judiciary try to placate as often as possible given the history of the Holocaust was enraged by the decision.
Although only a local ruling, it may set a legal precedent that courts in the other 15 states of Germany would be obliged to follow.
Therefore the fight to reverse it could, ultimately, lead all the way to the Federal Constitutional Court, Germany’s highest.
However, while many mainstream German citizens are in agreement with the court ruling and believe it should be halted.
One survey last year showed 60 percent of Germans equating circumcision with genital mutilation.
Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council, said the verdict was ‘an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in religious communities’ right to self-determination.
Last month the issue of circumcision hit the headlines in New York after an extreme Jewish circumcision practice in which the blood of a baby’s cut penis is sucked by a religious leader was been condemned after the deaths of two infants.
The ‘metzitzah b’peh’ performed by ultra Orthodox Jews sees the eight-day old baby have a traditional circumcision but the ‘mohel’ then places his mouth around the wound and sucks up the blood.
But the practice – intended to prevent infection – has sparked controversy in recent years after the death of two infants and the contraction of herpes in at least 11 others between November 2000 and December 2011.
Heath chiefs in New York are now pushing through regulation forcing anybody wishing to have the procedure carried out on their babies to sign a consent waiver.
But some Orthodox Jews have complained about the measures claiming that they infringe on their ‘religious freedom’