Wearing white emblazoned maroon colored tee-shirts announcing in Hebrew and English across the front “We are everywhere,” a representative group of slightly more than a dozen members of IGI, a Hebrew acronym for Gay Youth Group, was officially received on Wednesday at the President’s Residence by President Reuven Rivlin.
The group headed by Mindy Michaeli, the national CEO of IGI, was accompanied by former MK Nitzan Horowitz, who is openly gay and was warmly embraced by Rivlin, Gal Uchovsky, a prominent member of Israel’s gay community and a television and print media personality, and Yaniv Weizman, who holds the Gay portfolio on the Tel Aviv City Council.
Rivlin reminded them that 22 years ago, he had been the first MK to accept the gay community as equals who can contribute to society. Reflecting on the possibility that gay attorney Amir Ohana who is a major in the IDF reserves and was in 32nd slot on the Likud list for the current Knesset, may move up in the ranks, Weizman excitedly said that there may soon be a gay Likudnik in the Knesset.
All previous gay MKs were members of Meretz or its precursor Ratz. The first was Marcia Freedman, an openly lesbian MK who was elected on a Ratz ticket and served from 1974-1977. The second was Uzi Even, a Meretz MK who was elected in 2002 and the third was Horowitz who was elected in 2009.