BREAKING NEWS

Israel Prize host won't speak with rabbi who called LGBT people 'disabled'

Sharon Kidon, the host of the Israel Prize ceremony, has agreed to host the ceremony on condition that she does not need to speak on stage with Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, who will be receiving the Israel Prize for Torah Literature for 2020.
The decision to give Ariel the prize has generated controversy due to comments made by Ariel in the past about the LGBTQ community.
During a conference in Ramle in 2016, Rabbi Ariel referred to members of the LGBTQ community as "disabled people suffering from a real problem that must be solved with psychological and pharmacological treatments," ynet reported.
In 2014, he ruled that it was forbidden to rent an apartment to two lesbian women.
The High Court of Justice decided that Ariel could still receive the prize as his comments were protected under free speech laws.
"Rabbi Ariel's statements are harsh, insulting and hurtful to an entire sector of the public, but it is not possible and not appropriate to limit the award of the Israel Prize to those who hold opinions rooted in the heart of public consensus," said the High Court in their ruling, adding that decisions made by the committee that chooses who's awarded the prize cannot be debated based on issues not related to the prize itself.
Aaron Reich contributed to this report.
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