Haredi Orthodox lawmaker resigns from Knesset after coming under fire for attending same-sex wedding

Sep 13, 2017

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli lawmaker from the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party resigned from the Knesset after he was criticized for attending a gay wedding.

Yigal Guetta resigned Wednesday after coming under fire from several prominent rabbis and party faithful.

At the beginning of the week, Guetta confirmed to Army Radio that he had attended his nephew’s same-sex wedding two years ago and required his entire family to attend.

“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,”  he told Army Radio. “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.'”

Several prominent haredi rabbis called on the Shas party to fire Guetta. He refused to apologize for his attendance at the wedding and requiring his family members to attend, and resigned from the Knesset before he was asked, Haaretz reported, citing unnamed people close to Shas.

“Minister Deri told member of Knesset Guetta that he respects his decision, expressed his appreciation for him and thanked him for his valuable work and for the new and energetic spirit he introduced to Shas,” a letter from Shas party head and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s office said.