Earlier this month, the candidates fighting to become the next mayor weighed in on the controversial circumcision consent form that requires parents to sign a waiver before their infant can undergo the "metzitzah b’peh" ritual—the circumcision practice in which a mohel sucks the blood from a freshly snipped foreskin. Most of them seemed to be for the basic consent forms (which only informs parents of potential risk—it doesn't prevent them from having the ritual performed if they want), but mayoral candidates tend to have a slippery way with words. And it seems most of the democratic candidates are now AGAINST the consent forms, as you can see in the video below.
Christine Quinn was the only candidate who was in favor of keeping the consent forms, although she did criticize the Bloomberg administration (and by extension, the Board Of Health) for how they handled introducing the forms, which seems like she's trying to have her cake and eat it too. As Failed Messiah noted, the other candidates all "hemmed and hawed" their answers, either saying firmly that they'd get rid of it (John Liu) or just being vague to appease the ultra-Orthodox Haredi in the audience.
Anthony Weiner showed he was right back in the swing of being a politician with his completely empty response: "For me, it comes down to my values as someone who believes in the ethos of New York. Part of that ethos of New York is that we all come from different places. We bring different cultures, we bring different ideas. We never are too far from our mother country, and we try to bring those traditions here. And that's very important and part of the structure of the Frum community."
So you could easily walk away from that answer thinking, "I have no idea what he actually believes." But if you look back at the quote he refers to in his speech, he makes it pretty clear that he would abolish the consent form: “It is not the place of the department of health to be deciding on a religious practice."
Weiner's response is bad, but at least he's not as terrible as Liu on this subject: "This is something that's been going on for thousands of years. And it's continued to this day until for some reason a particular billionaire mayor of this city decided he must know better than anybody else over the thousands of years that this practice has gone on."
Does Bloomberg know better, or do modern health officials know better? Because doctors certainly do know better about infant health today than rabbis did thousands of years ago—they know that there are new advanced diseases that are spread from contact between a herpes-ridden mohel and an infant baby's penis. They know that there have been at least 13 cases of herpes infection in Jewish newborns confirmed as a result of the ritual since 2000 in NYC, including two so far this year.