Israeli Education Minister: I am truly sorry for saying same-sex couples aren’t families
Israel’s Education Minister has apologised for claiming that same-sex couples aren’t families earlier this week.
Minister of Education Shai Piron, of the Yesh Atid party, said on Thursday: “I think it’s a Jewish state’s right, maybe even its duty, to say to same-sex couples who decide to live their lives together – that’s not a family.”
He faced a strong backlash for his comments, which were especially surprising given his own party is currently spearheading a gay surrogacy bill through parliament.
He told Channel Ten News today: “I am grievously convinced that such remarks are contemptible. It is not up to me to decide what a family is and what is not.”
“What bothered me most were the children and adults I offended, and today I am looking them in the eye and saying, I am truly sorry.
“There is a lot of tension between the halachic religious world and liberal society. All I said was that it’s possible to argue the question of whether this is a family or not.”
Shai Doitsh, chair of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, told Israel Hayom: “Just as an LGBT person is a person, and an LGBT citizen is a citizen, so too is an LGBT family a family, and an LGBT couple a couple, and an LGBT parent a parent.
“It’s a slap in the face to the gay community by a member of a party which raised the flag of equal rights for the gay community, yet it put in its second seat a person such as Piron and designated him as education minister.
“Given his remarks, it’s clear that Piron isn’t the type to be entrusted with educating our children and teenagers, among them LGBT youth and the children of LGBT parents and families.”