Yehudit Shilat, expected to receive a realistic slot on the Jewish Home party’s upcoming Knesset election list, spoke out strongly against homosexuality during a 2013 radio interview, calling same-sex relationships “suicide for society.”
Shalit cited late marriage and lower birth rates to explain her stance on same-sex relationships during the interview, Haaretz reported Thursday.
“Legislation that benefits homosexuals, that is, the pushing of a gay-lesbian agenda through legislation, creates a public discourse that changes the social climate… and makes gay and lesbian ideas a progressive and legitimate phenomenon,” she told Guy Zohar of Radio 103 FM.
Shilat, who serves as the director of Takana, a forum against sexual abuse, also expressed her disapproval of legalizing gay marriage in Israel during the interview.
“If we accept the creating this climate of homo-lesbian values, together with the phenomenon of staying single until later in life and marrying late and declining fertility rate — we cannot ignore that demographically. We are talking about the suicide of certain collectives,” Shilat continued.
Host Guy Zohar responded to his guest that homosexuality was not a choice. Shalit answered that the majority of people who identify as gay choose to live their life that way. Immediately, Zohar interrupted her and said he would not allow her statements on his show.
In a video produced by the Jewish Home party and the religious news site Kipa released ahead of the primaries earlier this month, Shilat reiterated her stance on same-sex relationships. “There is no such thing,” Shilat said when asked what she thought of gay marriage, without explaining her statement further.
Similarly, the majority of the Jewish Home party candidates profiled in the segment came out flatly against Israel recognizing same-sex marriages, saying it went against Jewish values or normative principles.
The video quickly elicited harsh criticism by the gay community and left-wing politicians, who blasted the party members for what they called ‘homophobic’ statements, and demanded an apology be issued.
Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett refused to apologize for the video, and said his party would not support same-sex marriage legislation in the Knesset, during an interview with Channel 10 News last week.
Former chief military Rabbi Avichai Rontzki said that if his son came out as gay, he would encourage him to pursue therapy when asked how he would respond if his son came out by a gay-advocate during an event Thursday evening.
In response to comments made by the Jewish Home candidates, a YouTube video of religious same-sex couples and families emerged later Thursday evening on social media. The clip, entitled Religious and Gay Families — A response to the Jewish Home, emphasized the religious background of the featured couples by naming which religious school or yeshiva they attended.