The news story that Snopes is disputing here did not originate with Jihad Watch, but with Maine State Media, which Snopes claims, without offering any evidence to support its claim, is a “shaky source.” So why do they bring in Jihad Watch at all, since we did not originate the story (we posted it here, with a link to Maine State Media)? Probably because we have previously exposed Snopes to be not the neutral fact-checker it claims to be, but yet another Leftist propaganda outfit, purveying soothing falsehoods about Muhammad and falsely claiming that a New Jersey town had not forbidden criticism of Islam, when that is exactly what it had done.
So in this case, Snopes, apparently smarting from being exposed, makes a story about Maine from a Maine media outlet that we picked up and excerpted into a heinous falsehood that is our fault.
And in this case yet again, Snopes gets the facts wrong. Yes, FGM has been illegal since 1996, but there have been exactly two prosecutions for it since then, both new and ongoing, so it was perfectly reasonable for Maine legislators to think that if they passed a new law specifying criminal penalties for female genital mutilation, it might spur actual prosecution of those who engage in this practice. But Maine House Democrats removed all criminal penalties from the bill as they passed it. Yes, that is allowing for female genital mutilation. Those who are discovered practicing FGM in Maine will be, according to the new bill, referred for counseling. It says nothing about prosecuting them under the 1996 law or anything else.
Once again the vaunted “fact-checker” Snopes is exposed as just another Leftist water-carrier, not a reliable source of accurate information.
“Did Maine House Democrats Vote to Allow Female Genital Mutilation?,” by Kim LaCapria, Snopes, April 25, 2018:
On 23 April 2018, the JihadWatch.org blog published an article reporting that Maine’s House Democrats had voted to allow female genital mutilation (FGM) in that state.
The article linked to blog post from a shaky source, and even that item diverged from the claim that politicians in Maine had opted to “allow” female genital mutilation, stating instead that the Maine State House passed a “toothless” amended bill banning the act…
Failing to kill the bill outright, Democrat “leadership” next brought forward the second of the minority report from the CJPS Committee. This one being the controversial amended bill, removing penalties for all accomplices to the crime … The watered-down, feckless ban passed with mostly party-line support, in a 73-68 tally. Not a single Republican voted for the toothless version of the ban.
Performing FGM on minors in the United States has been illegal since 1996, with regulations stating that “whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”…
Local reporting on the partisan dispute aligned with a June 2017 statement from Maine’s American Civil Liberties Union positing that the Republican version of the bill was intended to target “certain religious and ethnic communities”:
The original version of LD 745, which would create multiple new felony penalties for FGM, is redundant; there are already severe penalties under both Maine and federal law that cover FGM. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to single out behavior that is commonly attributed to certain religious and ethnic communities as different from other forms of abuse. We’re also concerned that the bill was crafted without the input of policy experts or affected communities. After hearing from women in Maine who were directly affected by female genital mutilation as well as advocates against domestic violence, we opposed the original version of LD 745.
…Nonetheless, the claim that Maine Democrats voted to “allow” female genital mutilation is false, as both Democrats and Republicans in Maine advanced legislation specifying criminal penalties for the practice. The two sides voted along party lines on the different bills, with the version favored by Democrats being passed. Despite reports to the contrary, no part of the passed bill “allows” or legalizes female genital mutilation.