Controversial Remarks By Likud Lawmaker Ignite Homosexuality Debate

Some parents deliberately make their children gay, including making their little boys play with dolls, said Nissim Vaturi.

MK Nissim Vaturi (Likud) caused an uproar on Tuesday by claiming that some parents deliberately decide to make their children gay in order to support LGBTQ values, including giving their sons dolls to play with.

Vaturi gave an interview to the Knesset Channel, in which he voiced his support for the government’s recent decision to grant far-right MK Avi Maoz the power to oversee after-school programs for children. public schools.

Maoz, the Noam faction’s sole representative in the Knesset, takes a staunchly anti-LGBTQ, anti-pluralist and masculinist stance, which has drawn serious concern and criticism from politicians and organizations opposing his desire to exercise control over external suppliers of school materials that complement public school curricula.

Vaturi said children should not be influenced about their sexual orientation and he claimed that some parents deliberately try to encourage their children to be gay for ideological reasons.

“There are parents who promote LGBT [values], they give a boy a doll because they feel like he should be gay, but that’s not fair. No one should influence people, neither Avi Maoz nor the laity. There is no need to promote this stuff, there is no need to promote LGBT issues. Let your children choose what they want to be, whether religious, secular or LGBT. A person should be able to choose their own path,” Vaturi said.

The remarks sparked outrage from Roee Neuman, one of the leaders of the anti-government protest movement who says the current coalition undermines Israel’s democratic values.

“I don’t know where to start explaining things to this homophobic scum that is Vaturi,” he wrote on Twitter. “I grew up in an environment where I didn’t know a single gay person, I didn’t play with dolls and I’m still gay. No one makes someone a gay or trans person. I grew up scared of people finding out I was gay. »

On Sunday, the cabinet granted Maoz, via a vote, oversight of external programs in schools as part of its Office of Jewish National Identity.

The unit would be responsible for overseeing Gefen, the group of providers approved and funded by the Department of Education, which includes more than 20,000 programs available to public school administrators. External program providers are an integral part of public education and offer a wide range of offerings from sex education to bar mitzvah preparation to agriculture.

In addition to the “Parent Transparency System”, which provides parents with information on the content of educational programs, the identity of vendors and the sources of program funding, the Office of Jewish National Identity in Maoz will have three other objectives, according to the government decision which was formulated in vague terms.

The Office will also “strengthen Jewish identity” through research projects and grants, “assist and support educational institutions” regarding Jewish national identity, and publish information on “the deepening and the strengthening of the Jewish national identity”.

Several political figures and opposition organizations have expressed their concerns about Maoz’s planned return to the field of education, especially given his clear public positions against LGBT rights, gender parity and approaches pluralists of Judaism.

Vaturi’s remarks also came a day before the controversial Jerusalem Gay Pride.

The far-right Lehava group is bracing for potential violence at the Jerusalem parade, and it has posted numerous threatening messages to an internal newsgroup — messages wishing the pro-LGBTQ marchers dead, according to an article that was published on Monday.

Some 2,000 police – some of them in civilian clothes – are expected to be deployed along and around the parade route, police said in a statement on Monday. A far-right counter-demonstration will take place at the same time.

An ultra-Orthodox extremist had murdered a teenager, Shira Banki, during Gay Pride in 2015.

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