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MBMbill's day on the hill.

Yeah -- I've been quiet the past few days -- a lot has been going on. Suddenly I'm getting job interview requests like crazy -- and at the same time, the Male Genital Mutilation bill (MA-Senate Bill 1777) got it's moment in the spotlight at the Massachusetts State House (it only took FOUR years).

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary listened to public testimony yesterday (2 March 2010) in a public hearing forum. The room was literally standing room only from the sheer number of people that came. The committee heard from almost two dozen people who clearly stated their support for the bill and gave detailed information why they supported it. (A special thank you needs to go out to Chairperson O'Flaherty for 'burning the midnight oil', keeping the hearing going into the night, allowing everyone to testify!) You can read my personal testimony here.

Senator Cindy Creem (1st Middlesex and Norfolk) who is the senate's chairperson for the joint committee (and allegedly Jewish) was absent more than 50% of the hearing, and when present, seemed more interested in whispering in the ear of the house chairperson, Eugene O'Flaherty (Ward 2, of Boston, and Wards 1 and 2, precincts 1 and 3 of ward 3, and precincts 1 and 4 of ward 4, of Chelsea, Suffolk County) than listening to the heartfelt testimony from citizens. My hat's off to the Honourable Chairperson Eugene O'Flaherty who appeared truly interested and sympathetic to the persons testifying (following recovery the of initial shock that we all felt then the words "penis", "foreskin", "circumcision" and so on were being spoken in the State House!)

Various Senators and House Members on the committee came in and left throughout the hearing. Written testimony was submitted by all speakers to the secretary for dissemination to all committee members. We were assured that each written testimony submitted would be read (yeah, right)...

We were featured on FOX25 Boston (WFXT) (see the clip below). As you can see from the on-the-street interviews, everyone (bar one person) agreed that a person should have their own choice when it comes to circumcision!

Peter W. Adler, MA, JD has written a summary of the testimonies.

There were a total of three people opposed to S 1777, believing it was their right to have healthy body parts amputated from their children. All three quoted religious freedom, health "benefits" and various references to their own version of the bible/torah.

Of the three testifying against the MGM Bill, one was male , wearing ceremonial robes and a yamaka and was viably very upset at he was awaiting his turn to speak, while each person in favor of S 1777 received rousing applause (which is uncommon in these sort of formal proceedings).

The other two were female, one spurted quotes from the bible's chapter of genesiss. She looked a lot like "the cat lady" from the Simpson's television show (photo: right), obviously without the cats -- but just as loony -- spouting biblical quotes.

The other lady looked, sounded and acted a lot like Beth Grant's character Kitty Farmer from the movie Donnie Darko. If you've seen Donnie Darko, Kitty the side character that was producing the dance troupe "Sparkle Motion!" with the young daughters. If you you haven't seen Donnie Darko, think of any over-zealous mother living their live vicariously through their daughter by pushing them hard in contests, pageants, etc. -- you get the idea.

So, the three opposing views were quite radical, while the SEVENTEEN that testified on our side were doctors, lawyers, publishers, parents, professionals and stated our case quite eloquently, calmly and rationally. Senator Creem appeared shocked, then disgusted when several of our testifiers that were Jewish publicly denounced what most Jews consider a "birthright". One, a Jewish mother who refused to have her boys circumcised, testified which caught Senator Creem's attention for a moment, then as if to shun the testifier, spun her chair around and proceeded to apparently ignore the rest of what she had to say. Separation of State and religion does not exist.

A Physician Associate/PA testified that he encourages his colleagues not to circumcise babies, after taking the time to learn more about circumcision. He made a compelling speech about the serious damage he saw in adult men caused by neonatal circumcision.

A summary of the testimonies has been written by Peter W. Adler, MA, JD and can be seen here.

The result (vote) from this hearing is due from the committee by 17 March 2010. Until that time, we will continue to pressure the committee members (below) to read our testimony and research the subject for themselves.
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Michael Avitzur, Legislative Counsel to Senator Creem (Michael.Avitzur@state.ma.us)
Rep. Eugene O’ Flaherty, House Judiciary Chair (Rep.GeneOFlaherty@hou.state.ma.us)

Senator Cynthia Creem, Senate Judiciary Chair (Cynthia.Creem@state.ma.us)
Senator Steven Baddour, Senate Judiciary Vice-Chair (Steven.Baddour@state.ma.us)
Senator Gale Candaras (Gale.Candaras@State.MA.US)
Senator Jack Hart (John.Hart@state.ma.us)
Senator Thomas McGee (Thomas.McGee@state.ma.us)
Senator Bruce Tarr (Bruce.Tarr@state.ma.us)

Rep. Christopher Speranzo, House Judiciary Vice-Chair (Rep.ChristopherSperanzo@Hou.State.MA.US)
Rep. James Fagan (Rep.JamesFagan@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. Colleen Garry (Rep.ColleenGarry@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. Marie St. Fleur (Rep.MarieSt.Fleur@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. John Fernandes (Rep.JohnFernandes@Hou.State.MA.US)
Rep. Katherine Clark (Rep.KatherineClark@HOU.State.MA.US)
Rep. James Dwyer (Rep.JamesJDwyer@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. Danielle Gregoire (Rep.DanielleGregoire@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. Lewis Evangelidis (Rep.LewisEvangelidis@hou.state.ma.us)
Rep. Daniel Webster (Rep.DanielWebster@hou.state.ma.us)
Until then, please thank Matt Hess, head of MBMbill.org and Intact America for making this event a resounding success for genital integrity for everyone!

More news coming -- but if you're a supporter of our bill and a resident of Massachusetts, won't you consider joining our MGMbill-MA Yahoo group so we can keep in touch with breaking news?


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Circumcision bill
If those that think performing this procedure is a jewish or a parential right I suggest that Muslims assert the same thing and get the current law banning the butchery of girls repealed and the people who are obcessed with aputating sex parts can freely butcher their children to satisfy their prejudices and their religious frevor or just their silly notions. Why we can do it to every one to satisfy these fettishes. Last week I watched a show where Joy Bahar was interviewing a admittedly fat Jewish man who was a commedian. The subject of the briss of his son came up as it often does amongst Jews. Well he prattled on how wonderful it was to watch this procedure and how the Rabbi placed his sons amputated parts in a piece of aluminul foil and gave it to him instructing the father to bury it in a special place. This man prattled on how he carried this cargo in his pocket for over 3 weeks and I believe he buried it in a flower bed in Disney Land. Imagine when the Mexican land scaper found that prize. If a non jew carried a foreskin around in his pocket and a policeman found it they would be sent to the Bridgewater Bug house to have their head examined and an investagation would be started to see where he obtained this little prize. I was stunned by this admission of what jews practice. I think Joy Baher was too as she seemed to grimace. And yes I know an anti-semite is anyone who does not agree with anything a jew says or practices, so save it for someone else. This insanity has to stop and when a Citizen becomes 18 they can cut and mutalate anything they want provided they can find a willing practitioner to do the butchery.At least it is their choice and not a permanant choice made by someone else.
A friend who had a boy described how at the Brockton Hospital he and his wife were hounded relentlessly until the wife consented in his absence. He said they came up with more reasons that you can imagine. By the way this was done by thrir jewish female doctor and by the staff nurses. He was discusted.

Mar. 14th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Circumcision bill
Yes Jews are to bury the foreskin to return it to the Devil who lives in the ground. Their God gives man a foreskin that is known to be highly erogenous which is a veil to seeing and communicating with God clearly. So to cut off the foreskin is a known extreme sacrifice, one that the father was to do to his son that lets males see God. God gives that man may take away to prove his obedience/faith. So much foreskin pleasure that it must be that it can't be good and so it's bad and sent to the Devil. In Kabalic terms, when one looks upon the circumcised penis and sees the glans, one looks upon God literally.
Mar. 15th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Re: Circumcision bill
Which makes perfect sense (if you believe in G-d); however, if and only if the choice to become circumcised is made of your own accord after knowing the pleasure it has to offer. Otherwise, it's not a 'sacrifice' to have something taken from you (without consent) before you can possibly remember it.

The MGM Bill does not prevent circumcision after 18 years of age, if that's what the person wants for himself.

- Chaz
Mar. 8th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
I think another important point to make is that regardless of one's opinion on any medical benefit of circumcision, there is no reason it has to be performed before the male is old enough to decide for himself. That spares having a wound healing painfully in a dirty diaper after a traumatic procedure during the most vulnerable stage of human development. Bonding is now recognized as critical to mental health--another key point for this argument.
I also think it is irresponsible to imply that circumcision prevents HIV.
Let's quit torturing innocent babies for no valid medical reason!
Mar. 14th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Surprising event
What a pleasant surprise that everything went as well or better than expected. Surprising that backroom politics didn't take the form of what happened in San Francisco at the Amnesty International Convention. Bay Area iNtactivists Group (BANG) tried to platform circumcision as male genital mutilation deserving the same current platform of protecting females. But the presentation was moved to a last time slot that Jews involved in other presentations could then be present to overthrow and when the average Joe may not want to stay to attend.

I'm very pleased that it is now matter of record that Circumcision is not original to the Jewish Covenant but added on later (13 centuries after Abraham's repudiated lifetime). And the point is made that it is not a Jewish issue but an American issue when so many non Jewish boys are circumcised.
Mar. 15th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it went well.
I'm certainly heartened to hear about the many who testified and that testimony was well received. I was at the meeting as well, but had to leave early, so I missed the testimony.

I'm also extremely appreciative of your efforts. I didn't realize it took you FOUR years just to get the bill to this point.

As far as the question of religion, what I really want to see happen is for circumcision to stop happening in hospitals, because it's not medicine. If parents want to do this to their own children, it becomes a much broader issue, and one that is much more difficult for us to win.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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