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24th of September 2017

International



Orthodox Lawmaker Resigns After Attending Gay Wedding

An Orthodox Israeli legislator resigned in disgrace Wednesday after prominent rabbis called for his dismissal for attending his nephew’s gay wedding two years ago.

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. Guetta, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, resigned from the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, before he could be fired, and remained unapologetic about his and his family’s attendance at the wedding, according to Haaretz.

“My entire family went to the wedding. I usually don’t tell my kids to what events they should go, but this time I told them attendance was mandatory. Beforehand, I told my kids: ‘We’re going to make him happy because he’s my sister’s son and I want him to be happy, but I want you to know that according to the Torah this [wedding] is forbidden and an abomination. I have no leeway on this,” Guetta told Army Radio.

An unnamed member of the Shas party told Haaretz that they believe the rabbis who denounced Guetta were politically motivated to harm Shas.

“The rabbis that signed off on this letter are all rabbis that did not receive support from Shas for their institutions. These rabbis didn’t even try to hear Guetta’s version of the event. The person who sent them the recording of the radio interview dropped the part in which Guetta explains that it is forbidden according to religious [law],” the member told Haaretz.

Guetta received support over the incident from several political leaders, including Avi Gabbay, leader of the Zionist Union, legislator Dov Khanin, and Shas party chairman Arye Dery, according to Haaretz.

“Guetta lost a family member to a terror attack when he was eight and his choice to honor his sister by going to her son and his partner’s wedding is humanity at its finest,” Gabay told Haaretz.

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