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ADL Submits Brief in Oregon Circumcision Case

Update: On January 28, 2008, ADL welcomed the decision in the case, which reaffirmed the right of parents to circumcise their children. More

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New York, NY, September 12, 2007 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today joined several major Jewish organizations in filing an amicus brief with the Oregon Supreme Court in a case involving a contested circumcision.

 

The case addresses the right of a custodial parent to arrange for his son's circumcision as part of his conversion to Judaism.  The child's mother objects to the procedure, contending that it has "grave and drastic consequences," and that the father's decision to enable the circumcision of the child calls into question his capability as a parent.

 

In the brief, ADL shared with the court the fundamental importance of circumcision in the Jewish tradition.  The brief also asserts that "routine male circumcision is the type of religious and medical decision that is squarely within the rights of the custodial parent.

 

"Enabling the circumcision of a child, whether as part of a religious conversion or for medical reasons, cannot as a matter of law indicate any infirmity in a parent's ability to function as a parent.  Moreover, any decision to single out circumcision as a basis for questioning the fitness of the custodial parent would violate the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion."

 

Joining ADL in submitting the brief were the American Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.


The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



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Read the Brief (pdf)

 
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2007 Anti-Defamation League