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Israel education minister says his kids can’t be gay because they grew up in a ‘healthy, natural way’

Patrick Kelleher January 11, 2020
Israel education minister Rafi Peretz

Israeli education minister Rafi Peretz. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty)

The education minister in Israel has said his kids couldn’t be gay because they grew up in “a healthy and natural way.”

Minister Rafi Peretz – who is also head of the Jewish Home party and a former chief rabbi in Israel’s Defence Forces – has been widely criticised for the remarks, which he made in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth.

When asked how he would respond if one of his own children came out as gay, he replied: “Thank God my kids grew up in a healthy and natural way.”

He continued: “They’re building their families from Jewish values.”

Elsewhere in the same interview, Peretz hit out at same-sex marriage, suggesting that “a normal family is as man and a woman.”

“[We] don’t need to [be] ashamed that we live in this natural way,” he said, according to The Times of Israel.

Israel education minister Rafi Peretz has been widely criticised for the anti-gay remarks.

Peretz has been slammed by both fellow politicians and LGBT+ activists over his comments.

Israeli Labour representative Itzik Shmuli shared a photo of himself with his partner and son and wrote: “This is what a ‘natural and healthy’ family looks like.” Meanwhile, Nitzan Horowitz of the Meretz party called Peretz a “contemptible person.”

This is not the first time Peretz has come under fire for his anti-LGBT+ remarks. Last year, he created a storm of controversy when he suggsted that “it is possible to convert” someone’s sexual orientation.

Thank God my kids grew up in a healthy and natural way. They’re building their families from Jewish values.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12, the former teacher claimed: “I have a very deep understanding of this kind of education and I have done this [to students],” explaining: “The objective is first of all for him to know himself well… and then he will decide.”

He backtracked last year on his comments about conversion therapy.

Days later, he backtracked following significant controversy, writing: “During my years as an educator I was approached on several occasions about issues of sexual preference. I always listened carefully to the challenges brought before me and sometimes urged consultations with professionals.

“I know conversion therapy is invalid and wrong. This is my unequivocal position.

“I understand that this is an invasive treatment that is harmful to the human psyche, causes those treated with it more suffering than relief and can even put people’s lives in jeopardy and lead to suicidal tendencies.

“I never suggested conversion therapy, which I oppose utterly.”

Peretz added that the education ministry “will continue to accept all Israeli girls and boys in Israel as they are, without regard to sexual orientation.”

More: Education Minister, Gay, Israel, LGBT, Rafi Peretz, same-sex marraige

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