Israeli politician made to resign after attending gay relative’s wedding

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Yigal Guetta had sat as a member of the Knesset (Parliament) for the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party which is known for its conservative views. Although Mr. Guetta’s nephew is gay and as he invited his uncle to the wedding it was impossible to reject invitation.But his decision led to anger from other lawmakers within his party and from Orthodox rabbis, after he revealed that in a radio interview this week that he had attended the wedding contrary his own beliefs just to make his nephew happy and to show love to him and his mother, Guetta’s sister. 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. A letter from a number of rabbis had previously called for Mr Guetta’s removal, urging the party to disvow “this terrible desecration of God’s blessed name”. Following the row, Mr Guetta confirmed today that he would be resigning from the Parliament. Same-sex weddings are not legally possible in Israel, as the country has no system of civil marriage, and none of the recognised religious groups marry same-sex couples. Gay couples in the country often travel abroad to marry, as Israel does recognise same-sex marriages from overseas. Parts of Israel are liberal on LGBT rights, but homophobia is rife in parts of the country and among ultra-Orthodox communities.

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