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Religion in Israel: Politician Who Went To Gay Wedding Forced To Resign

13 September 2017

"The rabbis" attack on Guetta came after he was interviewed by Army Radio.

"Here's a scoop, hold on tight", the MK for ultra-orthodox party Shas enthused before continuing on to describe how his nephew had told him he was marrying a man and how he had nevertheless attended the wedding along with his wife and children.

He said that although same-sex marriage was against his religious beliefs he had wanted to make his nephew happy. "So I told him that now I understand even less".

"My entire family went to the wedding", he continued.

"I told my kids before we went: 'You should know that we're going in order to make him happy, because he's my sister's son, and she's my sister and I want to embrace her". "I usually don't tell my kids to what events they should go, but this time I told them attendance was mandatory". However, Guetta told his nephew that does not really officiate weddings but would help him find a rabbi who is an expert. "I have no leeway on this".

The somewhat unconventional Member of Israel's Knesset, Yigal Guetta, has stepped down after coming under fire from prominent rabbis for attending the wedding of his gay nephew some two years ago.

They wrote: "So-and-so told his entire family that they were required to attend the "wedding" of his nephew, which is a bad prohibition, among the most severe in the Torah". Accusing Guetta of "desecrating God's will", they called on his party to fire him. Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri welcomed his resignation and expressed gratitude that he made the move.

Shas chairman Arye Dery said that Guetta spoke to him this morning and informed him of his decision to leave the Knesset.

Yitzhak Vaknin, a fellow MP from the ultra-Orthodox Shas, said Guetta transgressed religious law by participating in a forbidden same-sex wedding ceremony.

When the Israeli interior ministry announced in 2014 that it would, however, recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas, Shas MP Nissim Zeev lambasted what he called "the risky institutionalisation of the phenomenon of homosexual families in Israel".

Jerusalem Pride has seen a number of violent incidents over the years.

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

Religion in Israel: Politician Who Went To Gay Wedding Forced To Resign