The New Unlikely Champion of Same-Sex Marriage in Israel is a Haredi MK

By attending the wedding of his gay nephew, Member of Knesset from the Haredi Shas party, Yigal Guata, became an unlikely defender of LGBT rights

Update, September 11, 2017 (A Wider Bridge): Following the publication of the story, the Haredi MK published a post on his Facebook page, declaring that his words were distorted and that he had not sided with the LGBTQ community. “I would like to make it clear that a handful of people above me are trying to spread distorted things in my name, saying I supposedly gave legitimacy to forbidden acts, G-d forbid,” the MK wrote. “This is a lie and a serious misrepresentation. I explicitly stated in that same interview, and I declare now as well, that this is strictly prohibited act from the Torah, and it’s the only thing in the Torah that is describes as ‘abomination’.”

Yigal Guata, a Member of Knesset from the Haredi Shas party, emerged this week as the champion of an unlikely cause: same-sex unions.

Gay marriage is still not legal in Israel, but when Guata’s nephew, who had married his boyfriend abroad, held a ceremony to celebrate his nuptials, Guata did not think twice before attending.

Almost immediately, prominent rabbis took to the airwaves to denounce Guata and call for his resignation. “Attending the wedding of two men is just as despicable as homosexuality,” said Shmuel Eliyahu, Tzfat’s influential chief rabbi, and Shlomo Benizri, a former Shas MK and a haredi radio personality, called Guata’s actions “blasphemous” and encouraged Shas’s voters to take to the streets and protest. Continue reading on Tablet