Israeli lawmaker resigns amid criticism for attending gay nephew wedding

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 01:46:37|Editor: yan
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- An ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmaker resigned from the Israeli parliament after he drew rabbis' anger for attending his gay nephew's wedding, his party said Wednesday.

Yigal Guetta of the ultra-Orthodox party of Shas said he attended the ceremony two years ago because he wanted to make his nephew happy, although same-sex marriage violates the Jewish religious law.

His participation drew harsh criticism from prominent rabbis linked to Shas, according to media reports.

A statement released by Shas confirmed that Guetta handed his resignation to the party's leader, Arie Deri, who is also Israel's Internal Affairs Minister. Deri accepted the resignation, the statement said.

The move sparked wide condemnations from centrists and leftists lawmakers. Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid party, said "it's sad that in Israel, in 2017, a member of the parliament is forced to quit because he participated in a wedding of two people who love each other."

Same-sex weddings are not illegal in Israel but only Orthodox rabbis can issue wedding certificates. Couples may marry without licenses but their marriage will not be officially recognized.

Civil marriage does not exist in Israel. However, Israel recognizes civil marriages conducted by non-Orthodox rabbis, as long as the ceremony took place outside Israel.