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Israeli religious group denounces LGBTI community for ‘destroying family values’

Israeli religious group denounces LGBTI community for ‘destroying family values’

A new Israeli religious group is set to launch a campaign against the LGBTI community for ‘destroying traditional family values in the Western world’.

Conservative organization, Choosing Family — the Movement for Strengthening Family Values in Israel, was founded last week.

The group plans to launch their anti-LGBTI campaign on Tuesday (11 December), by distributing material from far-right activist, Michael Pua.

The group has planned a major demonstration, in which protestors will attempt to block a main junction in central Tel Aviv, the Times of Israel reports.

Campaign material criticizes the LGBTI rights movement for ‘destroying traditional family values in the Western world, which is trickling into Israeli society and even into the religious community,’ and condemns the ‘aggressive propaganda’ LGBTI rights groups.

A booklet by the group also appears to compare same-sex couples who adopt to child traffickers.

‘We don’t seek to harm or offend the LGBT,’ a passage in the booklet reads. ‘We want to further explain the issue and stress the halacha [religious law] problems to anyone who is interested in really understanding the sensitive issue.’

LGBTI hub of the Middle East

Israel is considered one of the safest places for LGBTI rights in the Middle East, with Tel Aviv often known as a hub for the community.

However, there are still deep divisions between the LGBTI community and conservative religious groups.

This year has also seen political tensions heightened with regards to LGBTI rights in Israel.

In July, massive nation-wide demonstrations brought several of Israel’s main cities to a standstill after a state-sponsored surrogacy bill failed to include LGBTI couples.

Jerusalem Pride being conducted under tight security as a result of the protests, and to avoid any clashes with conservative religious groups who had organized counter protests.

Security at Pride marches in Israel has also been ramped up following the murder 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was fatally stabbed by an Orthodox extremist at Jerusalem Pride in 2015.

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