LGBTQ Israelis call their government hypocrites on gay rights

A rainbow flag with the Jewish Star of David on it.

A rainbow flag with the Jewish Star of David on it. Flickr/Ariel Leshinsky

The Israeli government is being hypocritical on LGBT rights.

That’s what some 200 LGBTQ Israelis and opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition shouted outside municipal buildings in Jerusalem Saturday night, The Jerusalem Post reports.

They denounced the government for vetoing five bills meant to improve LGBT rights–the very week the country announced the creation of an LGBT rights day.

The bills, introduced by the opposition to recognize civil unions, ban conversion therapy of minors, and force physicians to study sexual orientation in medical school, were categorically rejected by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative political leadership.

The opposition-party Zionist Union denounced the coalition for using LGBT people for “public relations.” It said in a statement:  “In the moment of truth, the government abandoned the marginalized group by opposing the very laws presented to strengthen it.”

At the same time, Israel increased funding for social workers and psychologists serving the LGBT community after Amir Ohana, an openly gay member of the right-wing Likud party, pointed out a shortage. Yet Ohana also caught flack last week from LGBT advocates for recusing himself from the vote on the gay rights bills.

 

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