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Israel Reaches Record Number of Openly Gay Lawmakers

Israel swore in its latest openly gay lawmaker on Monday, marking a record for the country considered a regional pioneer on LGBT rights despite opposition from religious conservatives.  Yorai Lahav Hertzanu from the centrist Blue and White alliance became the latest politician to join the 120-seat Knesset, bringing to six the number of openly gay lawmakers.  

All are men and represent parties from across the political spectrum, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.  Lahav Hertzanu's appointment came after a law change allowing ministers to leave their parliamentary seat and be replaced by another member of their own party.  

Five percent of Israeli lawmakers are now openly gay, the fourth-highest figure in the world, according to political scientist Andrew Reynolds.  It comes "after Britain, 8.1 percent, Liechtenstein, 8 percent, and the Scottish parliament, 7.7 percent," said Reynolds, who directs an LGBT representative programme at the University of North Carolina in the United States.  

Israel's first LGBT lawmaker, Uzi Even, was appointed in 2002, and the community in the Jewish state has far more rights than those in most Middle Eastern countries.    Openly gay soldiers serve in the military, while Israel recognises same-sex marriages conducted abroad, and gay and lesbian couples have surrogacy rights. 

Aliqismet BADALOV,
“Khalq qazeti”

23 June 2020 12:31 -

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