Israeli lawmaker resigns amid criticism for attending gay nephew wedding

2017-09-13 21:56:10 GMT2017-09-14 05:56:10(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- An ultra-Orthodox Jewishlawmaker resigned from the Israeli parliament after he drew rabbis'anger for attending his gay nephew's wedding, his party saidWednesday.

Yigal Guetta of the ultra-Orthodox party of Shas said heattended the ceremony two years ago because he wanted to make hisnephew happy, although same-sex marriage violates the Jewishreligious law.

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

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

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

Same-sex weddings are not illegal in Israel but only Orthodoxrabbis can issue wedding certificates. Couples may marry withoutlicenses but their marriage will not be officially recognized.

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