Haredi lawmakers appear to protest Knesset speaker’s sexual orientation

Two senior United Torah Judaism politicians seemingly protested a speech by Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, a sign of deeply ingrained homophobia within the new coalition despite promises from some that the government won’t harm LGBTQ rights.

A picture tweeted by Walla reporter Yaki Adamker shows both Jerusalem Minister Meir Porush and MK Moshe Gafni bowing their heads and looking away as Ohana gave his inaugural speech.

Ohana, the first-ever openly gay Knesset speaker, used his speech to speak in defense of LGBTQ rights, promising to protect them amid concerns over plans to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination from openly homophobic lawmakers.

“This Knesset, under the leadership of this speaker, won’t hurt them or any other family, period,” Ohana said, directing the comments to his husband and children watching from the gallery.

According to Adamker, with the lawmakers sitting nearby, Porush asked Gafni during the speech, “What is this thing?”

At a protest in defense of the LGBTQ community, Yesh Atid MK Yorai Lahav-Hartzenu tells Channel 12 that he fears Ohana’s words were just an empty “fig leaf,” which he referred to as a form of “pinkwashing” the government.

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