(JTA) — A parliamentary committee in Denmark cleared the path for a nonbinding vote on a text that calls for banning nonmedical circumcision of boys for humanitarian reasons.
The Folketingets Administration okayed the text Thursday, stating there were no constitutional obstacles to voting this year on the text of a petition requesting a ban that received more than 50,000 signatures in May, Danmarks Radio reported.
A vote could be held as soon before November, Lena Nyhus, an activist for a ban and an initiator of the petition, said.
The petition by the group Denmark Intact crossed the 50,000 mark in June, four months after its launch. According to regulations passed in January, petitions approved for posting on the Danish parliament’s website are brought to a vote as nonbinding motions if they receive that level of support within six months and unless they are deemed unconstitutional.
A vote in a major European parliament on whether circumcision should be banned would be a precedent in Europe after World War II, when the Nazis imposed and introduced anti-Semitic legislation and practices in many countries they occupied.
The petition describes circumcision as a form of abuse and corporal punishment, equating it with female genital mutilation. The petition states that parents who have their children circumcised outside Denmark should be exposed to legal action in Denmark, which has 8,000 Jews and tens of thousands of Muslims.
But last week, spokespeople for most of the parties in the Danish parliament said that a majority of lawmakers would vote against supporting a ban if the issue is brought to a vote.