German legislators will pass a law this year permitting the circumcision of boys in response to global protests by religious groups reacting to a district court ruling that the practice amounts to bodily harm.

Social Democrat Burkhard Lischka, who sits on parliament’s legal-affairs committee, said his opposition party and the environmental Greens reached agreement with the governing coalition to seek draft legislation, probably by October. He said a “broad majority” will approve a resolution in the lower house, or Bundestag, tomorrow.

“You have two world religions that view the circumcision of boys as a constitutive path to join a community of faith,” Lischka said today in a phone interview in Berlin.

Jewish, Muslim and Christian organizations this month decried a May 7 Cologne court decision that circumcising boys constitutes battery even if parents consent to it, creating legal uncertainty and the prospect that doctors could be committing a crime by performing the procedure. Chancellor Angela Merkel warned party colleagues this week that Germany risks being branded a “nation of buffoons” if it becomes the only country to prohibit the practice, Bild newspaper reported.

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