MK Uri Ariel 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel came under fire once again for his
comments on homosexuality Saturday night, calling gay people “not
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for
Legislation came to a tie on a bill proposed by Ofer Shelah, Yesh Atid faction
chairman, forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation, with five
ministers in favor and five against.
Health Minister Yael German
submitted an appeal, so the proposal will be brought to another vote.
bill proposed by MK Dov Henin (Hadash), giving samesex couples equal benefits to
heterosexual married couples in applying for a mortgage, was voted
Responding to a question on Channel 2’s “Meet the Press” about the
Bayit Yehudi’s opposition to a Yesh Atid bill, that would give male homosexual
parents an equal tax break to heterosexual parents, Ariel said “the government
does not need to recognize the rights of same-sex couples in an official
The Bayit Yehudi opposed the proposal by MK Adi Kol (Yesh Atid),
because it would set a legal precedent of recognizing gay partnerships, but
offered alternative language to be used in the bill that would still grant the
tax benefit, which Yesh Atid rejected.
“Gays chose what they want to be,
and the government needs to respond but doesn’t need to recognize them,” Ariel
said. “This isn’t a normative, regular or important thing. We think there
are other things that need to be taken care of first.”
In June 2012,
Ariel said in an interview with the Knesset Channel: “If I had to decide, I
wouldn’t recruit homosexuals to the army, because some things harm the army’s
ability to fight.” “We need to act in the spirit of Judaism,” Ariel
According to Ariel, homosexuality is a phenomenon that was “common
in other nations,” which some Jewish people picked up and as such “the Torah
comes out sharply against it and sets heavy punishments for it.”
Nitzan Horowitz, the only openly gay member of the current Knesset, attacked
Ariel as an “unenlightened politician.”
“[Ariel’s] homophobic comments
represent his party, which believes in discrimination and religious coercion,”
the Meretz MK said.
“The question is why prime minister [Binyamin
Netanyahu] allows a minister in his government to harm hundreds of thousands of
Israelis, and why his coalition partners, like Yesh Atid, back
Horowitz said the country will recognize same-sex couples, in
defiance of Ariel.
The LGBT Task Force, an umbrella organization for gay
groups, said “Bayit Yehudi MKs’ extremist coercion is not normal. It’s
unfortunate that Ariel and his friends in the Bayit Yehudi are working to turn
Israel, the Jewish nationstate, into a theocracy.”
“The Ayatollahs in the
Bayit Yehudi, including their secular fig leaf, Ayelet Shaked, want to turn
children in LGBT families into orphans in the eyes of their country,” the