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German cabinet approves circumcision legislation

BERLIN -- Germany's cabinet approved a draft law on Wednesday protecting the right to circumcise infant boys, which it says will end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews.

The June ruling by a Cologne district court that circumcision constitutes “bodily harm” sparked an emotional national debate about religious freedom and the procedure itself.

An embarrassed German government pledged to bring in new legislation by the autumn to safeguard the right of parents to have their sons circumcised.

“It was always our intention to lift this ruling,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference.

Parliament must still approve the bill for it to become law.

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