Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Lawmaker Under Fire for Attending Nephew's Gay Wedding

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

Five rabbis accused legislator Yigal Guetta of "desecrating God's will" after he admitted to attending his nephew's gay wedding and ordering his family to attend with him, according to Reuters.

The letter followed Guetta's Army Radio interview on Monday in which he took pride in his handling of the delicate question of a family member's gay marriage. I told my kids: "Know that we are going to make him happy because he is the son of my sister and I want to hug my sister but the Torah says it is forbidden and abominable".

Yigal Guetta, from the religious Shas party, announced on Wednesday (13 September) he would be leaving the Knesset.

Despite making clear that he still opposes same-sex marriage in line with the party's beliefs, his attendance at the ceremony was enough to lead to calls for his sacking. However, Guetta told his nephew that does not really officiate weddings but would help him find a rabbi who is an expert. "Usually, I don't tell them which events to go to but in this case, I told them they had to come... I have no leeway on this".

While the Jewish state is considered a trailblazer in the promotion of and respect for gay rights, homosexuality remains taboo among the religious and ultra-Orthodox parties that wield significant political power.

They wrote: "So-and-so told his entire family that they were required to attend the "wedding" of his nephew, which is a awful prohibition, among the most severe in the Torah".

They called on the leaders of Shas "to not endorse this bad desecration of God's blessed name and to remove and fire [Mr Guetta] immediately".

But the Haaretz newspaper cited a source close to him as saying he had refused to apologise and chose to leave before being asked to do so by Shas leaders.

"It's sad that in Israel in 2017 an MK is forced to resign because he participated in the wedding of two people who love each other", said Lapid on Twitter.

Zehava Galon, chairwoman of the Meretz party, called for his reinstatement. "The pressure to dismiss him is a disgrace to Shas, and I hope they come to their senses and give him his job back".

Israel accepts gays serving openly in its military and Tel Aviv is a popular gay-friendly destination.

The parade through the holy city is a controversial event for the ultra-Orthodox community, which objects to displays of public affection by members of the LGBT community.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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