Thursday, November 20, 2014

Though Mom Under Gag Order, Protesters Hope to Voice Her Message: Don't Circumcise My Healthy Son

In May, a peaceful protest on behalf of the boy and his mom in front
of the Court that upheld the circumcision order earlier this November. 


A group of concerned Floridians will be taking to the streets in protest on Sunday, Nov. 23, to raise awareness about the distressing case of a healthy four-year-old boy that a family court judge has ordered circumcised against his mother’s wishes.

The child’s parents—who never married—are in conflict about the procedure. Beyond the Bris has been covering the case, which is detailed here. Following that report, the Broward/Palm Beach New Times posted an article of their own on developments in the case.
The protest will take place at a central location at City Place in West Palm Beach from 10:00am - 4:00pm. City Place is near the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, from which the mother, Heather Hironimus, is awaiting a full written decision that she can use for appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

“This is a story of stunning cruelty, human rights’ abuse, and indifference to the dignity and physical integrity of children by the Florida court system, says John Geisheker who is executive director and general counsel to the international group Doctors Opposing Circumcision.

Geisheker says the family court judge who issued the order, Hon. Jeffrey Dana Gillen, relied on amateurish, 1930s folklore to support the father’s demand to circumcise his child, and fully ignored the only expert witness, a physician who advised against the circumcision, saying he would not do so to his own child.

In his unconventional ruling, Judge Gillen placed a gag order on the mother, preventing her from speaking out publicly on the matter and also from telling her son that she is opposed to the procedure.

This is hardly the first protest by anti-circumcision activists, who have been appearing in cities across the U.S. in recent years to bring attention to the cruelty of circumcising healthy infants and young boys. One very visible protester on the national circuit is Brother K, who came up with the idea of grabbing people’s attention by wearing a distinctive “blood stained man” suit. Brother K is planning to attend Sunday’s protest.


Another protest is taking place in Tampa tomorrow, Nov. 20, from 10:00am - 4:00pm at the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse, 800 Twiggs Street, Tampa FL, 33062.

4 comments:

  1. I think it ought to be protested that the court is basically ordering the physical and permanent abuse of a healthy, non-consenting 4 year old, and that they are fully disregarding that mother's wishes, and what the only expert witness had to say. I am also aware that the judge completely disregard amicus curiae letters from Intact America and ARCLaw? That the judge gave favor to the father with no explanation for this decision whatsoever?

    But I think, what also needs to be protested here is that basically, the judge has made it near impossible for this woman to seek for any help. With a gag order saying she can't raise funds for her defense, even talk about why she needs one, how is she supposed to appeal? How is it possible that the mother, the parent this child is closest to, is unable to explain to him what his father wants to do to his body? How is it possible that this child of four is going to get ripped from his mother for two weeks, have a healthy part of his body cut off, and then simply given back to her because this is what the estranged father wants? She's the caretaker. The child is 4 years old and quite aware of his body. Why is more weight being given to the father's wishes?

    Protest for this child's welfare.

    But also, the gag order that basically says the mother and child will do as the court has ordered them to, and the mother cannot turn to anyone for help. I can only imagine what that poor mother and child are feeling as the end of their grace period draws near.

    This child has done nothing wrong. He is not sick. How is it this father and the court feel it's anybody's "decision" but the child's to have a part of his body cut off?

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  2. This is egregious. Period. If I weren't on the other coast, I'd be there to protest on Sunday. I want to help. So beyond posting on FB, donating to the mother's fund to appeal the decision, and spreading the word, what can people from afar do? Seriously. Would raising money to pay for other medical and psychological professionals' evaluations help? Would a composite letter from rabbis around the country and world help? Would raising money to spring mom from jail if she chooses to break the gag order help? Would a petition on change.org help? How can I help? Please send info to baskindc @ gmail and please post other ways to help on Beyond the Bris FB page.

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  3. Excellent summary. One quibble: Brother K did not "come up with the idea" of the Bloodstained Men. That is the brainchild of Richard Duncker of MenDoComplain (UK), 12 of whom wore the overalls at a protest outside the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children fundraising ball at the Savoy, London, on Wednesday.

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  4. Just for the record, it was actually Jonathon Conte who first introduced the bloodstained man suit to the US at the AAP convention in New Orleans in October 2012. He was inspired to do so the after seeing a picture of Richard Duncker dressed in a bloodstained suit previously on Facebook. See Brother K's comment here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152230466911937&set=t.684176414&type=1&theater

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