GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dressed all in white, a large, bright red stain stands out in stark contrast to the rest of their outfits. They call themselves the Bloodstained Men and they travel across the country protesting circumcision.
On Tuesday, the group made their way to Gulfport, where they are drawing attention from passing drivers on the corner of Pass and Cowan Roads. They are expected to be there through 3 p.m., where they will be handing out informational pamphlets and talking with people interested in learning more.
The group is against boys being circumcised in infancy, saying it is unnecessary and cruel and done so without permission. The group is currently on a 22-day tour across the United States, where they have been stopping in various cities. On Monday, the Bloodstained Men walked the streets of New Orleans. On Wednesday, they are scheduled to be in Pensacola. Their goal at the end of the 22 days: protesting outside the American Academy of Pediatrics national convention in Orlando.
But it's not just men that make up the group. Women come out to protest, as well, donning the white clothes and red stains. One member of the group tells WLOX that women also wear these big red stains because “it’s not equal protection when female circumcision is illegal and male circumcision is not.”
Some of the arguments against circumcision made by the group include:
- Dramatically lowered sensitivities that get progressively worse with age,
- Decreased sexual function and sensations in men,
- Lifelong psychological damage to mutilated children and infants,
- Rare foreskin health problems in intact males.
A spokesperson with Bloodstained Men said this particular tour has a road crew of nine people who are traveling together the entire 22 days. However, other members of the group are flying out or driving to meet the protesters in each city so the numbers vary. Oftentimes, the group is joined by locals who are also advocates against circumcision.
Bloodstained Men tell us they have a permit to protest and do so peacefully, often working with local police departments to make sure they are not in violation of any local laws.
The nonprofit organization has been speaking out against male circumcision since 2012 after being inspired by similar movements happening across the globe. To read more information about Bloodstained Men and their protest movement, visit the group’s website HERE.