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Human Rights Advocates Expose ACLU Hypocrisy

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"If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled."
—American Civil Liberties Union

In its mission statement, the American Civil Liberties Union extols individual liberty, equal rights, freedom of religion, and equal protection under the law. However when it comes to the forced genital cutting of boys, the ACLU not only falls short of adhering to its stated goals, but works to continue the sexual oppression of men by blocking legislation that would give men control over their own bodies and afford boys the same protection as girls from unnecessary genital reduction surgery.

In 2011 a ballot initiative was introduced in San Francisco that would have granted male minors the same legal protection from non-therapeutic genital surgery that female minors have had in the United States since a Federal law took effect in 1997. The language of the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Bill contained a clear medical exemption so that only non-therapeutic genital surgery would be prohibited for those under 18. Instead of using this opportunity to champion individual liberty and equal treatment under the law, the ACLU of Northern California opposed the SF MGM Bill and it was subsequently removed from the ballot.

Shortly thereafter, California state bill AB 768, co-authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, was introduced to prevent any city in the state of California from passing legislation restricting circumcision to consenting adults. It also alleges that "male circumcision has a wide array of health and affiliative benefits" despite the fact that not a single national medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. Again, the ACLU trampled on boys' individual liberty, equal rights, freedom of religion, and equal protection when its California affiliates endorsed this bill which later became law.

In response to this failure on the part of the ACLU to adhere to its stated mission and outraged by this attack on the sexual and religious freedom of men, members of Bay Area Intactivists staged a protest on Saturday, January 14 outside of an ACLU conference being held in Seaside California. Protesters sought to remind the ACLU that men are equally deserving of control over their own bodies and that all individuals, regardless of gender, have a right to be protected from the harm caused by forced genital cutting.

Intactivists criticize the ACLU's endorsement of routine infant circumcision.