LOGAN – A small group of six men and one woman converged on the corner of 1400 North and Main Street in Logan Monday, generating a lot of curiosity and stares, in hopes of bringing awareness to the practice of circumcision.
A number of the men from the non-profit organization, Bloodstained Men & Their Friends, wore white clothing, stained with a red spot in the groin area.
“It’s medically unethical to do this to a perfectly healthy boy to cut off part of his body,” according to spokesperson Harry Guiremand. “It’s an outdated practice done for fraudulent reasons.”
Guiremand and his group are on a 20 city tour of the mountain states. They spent a few hours in Logan and then it was off to Salt Lake City to wrap up the tour. He said the group has been around for about seven years and they try to visit 60 cities each year.
Members of the group carried large signs that read “Honk If You <heart> Foreskin” and “I Want My Foreskin Back.” They walked back and forth through the intersection and many people honked their horns and waived at them.
The organization is “dedicated to educating people about the harm of infant circumcision. It’s an unnecessary, traumatic, painful and injurious surgery that’s done without the consent of the patient,” explained Guiremand.
In a college town filled with students and young people, Guiremand says he is hoping to reach a younger generation “before they have kids, so they will know this is not something they should do to their boys,” he said.
Guiremand was aware he was in an area with a large “Mormon” population and attempted to quote “Mormon” scripture to back his assertions, but fell short of coming up with an exact scripture and verse.
The group was joined by Michael Vier from Boise. He took three days off from his work to support the effort.
Vier admitted he has been circumcised. “I felt very violated. I’ve been against it since I was young and figured out what it was,” he said.
“There are a lot of men who feel very disfigured by it and who understand the damage that it does. The public needs to be aware of that and needs to consider it rather than take for granted that everyone’s okay with it,” said Vier.
According to the most recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The AAP policy statement says the final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs.