Sept. 12 2014 12:00 AM

Anti-circumcision demonstrators say practice violates human rights

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Belinda Thurston

They stood out like a sore thumb.

They were hoping more like a sore penis.

Wearing white suits with red stains on their groins, nearly 20 men protested infant circumcision today in Lansing. Some of the signs read: “No medical excuse for genital abuse,” and “Circumcision violates children.”

“Men have been damaged by circumcision, you can’t remove a part of the body without changing the function of the body,” said Norm Cohen, director of NOCIRC of Michigan.

NOCIRC of Michigan is an organization that aims to prevent infant circumcision.

Demonstrators marched to the capitol later waved signs on Michigan Avenue at Sparrow Hospital.

Cohen said there are over 51,000 infant boys circumcised in Michigan every year. He says the choice should be that of the child and not the parents.

“They didn’t give informed consent,” he said of the infants.

He said the procedure isn’t medically necessary, can have complications and can impact adult function.

Bloodstained Men is another organization that protests infant circumcision.

Cohen said it’s important to “help people understand that these are people that we are circumcising. Babies become grown men and some of them are dissatisfied. So by wearing the blood stain we are emulating what the boy faces when he’s bandaged after the circumcision.”