Bennett, 'Rising Star' host talk gay rights over dinner

Gay celebrity Assi Azar says power is in Bennett's hands to "be brave and make the right decision, not the populist one for his voters."

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett is trying to balance rights for LGBT people with Israel’s Jewish character, television personality Assi Azar wrote overnight Wednesday.
Azar, co-host of televised singing contest Rising Star and of reality show Big Brother, who is gay and is an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, called earlier this month for gay couples to post their love stories on Bennett’s Facebook wall and invited Bennett and his wife, Gilat, to a double date to convince him of the importance of adopting pro-gay legislation.
The meeting (Azar’s partner, Albert, was unable to attend) took place hours after Bennett and Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked voted in favor of a bill to give male homosexual couples with children tax benefits equal to those heterosexual parents receive.
“There is an opportunity to make history when it comes to equal rights and human rights.
The time has come to take our democratic country one step forward and we finally have a slightly saner Knesset where this can happen,” Azar wrote on Facebook after the meeting.
The television host said he thinks Bennett understands the importance of the issue.
“He cannot be the one to stop such a beautiful, important and exciting process,” Azar said. “I understood from our meeting that he is trying to find ways to [support gay rights] without harming the State of Israel’s Jewish character. I hope he succeeds.
I hope he really tries.”
According to Azar, the power is in Bennett’s hands to “be brave and make the right decision, not the populist one for his voters.”
Even if Bennett does not support the right for gay people to start families, Azar added, he and his friends will still get that right eventually.