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

Yigal Guetta

Ultra-Orthodox politician quits as Israeli MP after attending gay wedding

On Wednesday morning, Guetta submitted his resignation to Shas chairman Aryeh Deri who accepted it. "Usually, I don't tell them which events to go to but in this case, I told them they had to come..."

Guetta's presence at his nephew's marriage ceremony however, was enough to raise the ire of many Rabbinical figures in Israel's Orthodox community.

Railing against the MK's "public desecration of Heaven", the rabbis demanded that the leaders of the Shas party "remove and fire" MK Yigal Guetta "immediately".

"The rabbis" attack on Guetta came after he was interviewed by Army Radio. "Then he told me, "Yes, but I want to tell you another thing: I'm gay and I'm marrying a man", Guetta recalled. 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". "I have no leeway on this".

A letter published on Monday by five prominent Israeli rabbis said same-sex marriage is an "abomination". Nevertheless, the MK told his nephew that he would attend the wedding with his wife and kids.

The rabbis went on to urge the public to "call and cry out to all the leaders [of Shas] to not endorse this bad desecration of God's blessed name and to remove and fire [Guetta] immediately from his public position to a position that has no public role, and to advertise the fact of his firing".

Following news of the resignation, lawmakers from centrist and left-wing parties condemned Guetta's treatment.

Zehava Galon, chairwoman of the Meretz party, called for his reinstatement.

But among the country's conservative ultra-Orthodox community, homosexuality is considered a sin and publicly shunned.

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