Haredi MKs Gafni, Porush cover faces as Ohana thanks his husband

Porush reportedly expressed outrage to Gafni concerning Ohana's words during the speech saying "What is this?"

 Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana with his husband and children at a Likud faction meeting following the swearing in of the new government, December 29, 2022. (photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana with his husband and children at a Likud faction meeting following the swearing in of the new government, December 29, 2022.
(photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)

United Torah Judaism MKs Meir Porush and Moshe Gafni covered their faces and turned away during the inaugural speech of new Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who became the first gay man to hold the role, as the new speaker during which he thanked his husband and their two children on Thursday. 

Ohana became the highest ranking LGBTQ+ member of Knesset when he was approved as the new Knesset speaker, shortly before the new government was voted in.

According to reports, Porush expressed outrage to Gafni concerning Ohana's words during the speech saying "What is this?"

While Haredi MKs took part in the vote to approve Ohana's position on Thursday, in 2015 they walked out of the plenum when he was sworn in as a new member of Knesset.

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, December 29, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, December 29, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

LGBTQ+ activists outraged at Ohana's silence in face of allies' homophobia

While Ohana is openly gay, LGBTQ+ activists have expressed outrage at his silence concerning the anti-LGBTQ+ statements made by a number of his coalition partners in recent weeks.

Over the years, Ohana has become popular with the Likud’s masses who cheer him like a celebrity at party rallies. A former justice and public security minister, he speaks forcefully against the legal establishment and is close to Netanyahu

During his speech on Thursday, Ohana promised that "this Knesset will not harm any child or family. Period." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made similar promises in recent weeks.

Despite the promises Netanyahu, the leader of Ohana's party, signed a coalition agreement with the Religious Zionist party this week promising to allow discrimination in the provision of products and services for "religious reasons."

Religious Zionist MKs Orit Struck and Simcha Rothman said earlier this week that they will work to advance a bill that will allow doctors to refuse service to LGBTQ+ people and single women and permit hotels to refuse entry to LGBTQ+ people.