Israeli teenagers are protesting discriminatory remarks made by Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz, after he said the only “normal” families are those headed by a man and a woman.
In an interview published over the weekend, Peretz was asked by the Yedioth Ahronoth newsapaper how he would respond if one of his children were gay.
“Thank God my kids grew up naturally and healthy. They’re building their families from Jewish values,” he responded.
“In the religious public that lives according to the Torah, a normal family is a man and a woman,” he continued. “[We] don’t need to be ashamed that we live in this natural way.”
Thankfully, many young people in Israel don’t agree with his interpretation. Thousands of them demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Wednesday while Peretz has been rebuked by his own government colleagues and several mayors. It’s not the first time he’s been in the spotlight either; last year, Peretz spoke in support of gay conversion torture.
The protesters have a point when they march in support of tolerance and inclusion. Just because something is traditional and considered “normal” doesn’t mean it’s right. A minister of education, of all people, ought to know better. The rhetoric just stigmatizes same-sex parents while also punishing their children for being “different.”
The demonstrators, however, are not calling for Peretz’s resignation. They would rather see him change the way he expresses himself. But we know all too well how conservative politicians act in these situations. He’ll double down, pretend he’s being persecuted, and run right into the arms of people willing to embrace his bigotry. Still, anyone unwilling to face constructive criticism is unfit for his role.
(Screenshot via YouTube)