Shas MK resigns from Knesset following gay wedding controversy

Yigal Guetta resigns from Knesset after publicizing his attendance at a single-sex 'wedding.'

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David Rosenberg,

Guetta with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
Guetta with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
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Shas MK Yigal Guetta resigned from the Knesset Sunday after having recently revealed that he had attended a same-sex wedding several years ago.

During an interview with Army Radio earlier this month, the haredi MK stated that he had attended the same-sex wedding of his nephew two years ago, before becoming an MK, despite his own personal opposition to gay marriage.

"My [nephew] told me, 'I'm getting married to another man'" Guetta recalled. I told my wife and children that we are all going to this wedding. I usually don't tell my children to come with me, but I told them that for this one, we are going. We all went, and we made them happy."

Guetta’s announcement provoked a swift backlash within the party, with former MKs, rabbinical leaders, and others criticizing him over what some called his de facto recognition of same-sex marriage, a subject panned in the party's platform.

Within days, Guetta announced his plans to resign from the Knesset, a move Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen had supported.

On Sunday, Guetta formally submitted his resignation to Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

Guetta will retain his status as a Shas MK for 48 hours before the resignation goes into effect. Should Guetta change his mind within the 48-hours period, he is allowed to rescind his resignation letter and retain his seat.

Deputy Mayor of Bat Yam Rafael Barnez is expected to replace Guetta in the Knesset.