It is an unprecedented moment for the LGBTQ community in Israel. Despite much pressure from the religious groups, a bill has passed its first stage in the Israeli parliament that does away with the practice of gay conversion therapy by psychologists.
While the religious leaders are most unpleased over this move, the Israeli MPs have stood by the human rights of the LGBTQ community that are forcefully coming into the open voicing their right to choose their sexual orientations.
The bill has been passed as the opposition was joined by two other parties forming a coalition in the favor of the bill that prevents any kind of psychological attempt of so called cleansing and brainwashing.
Meet Israel's education minister, he would get on well with Ann Widdecombe, having just declared his support for gay conversion therapy – and full "apartheid" pic.twitter.com/d6OvolfiMX— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) July 20, 2019
While last year the gay conversion therapy was favored by the education minister. It had triggered a backlash then, but the approval of the bill can bring forth a political crisis in Israel too.
The so called clensing process meant severe mental and physical torture for the LGBTQ community including brainwashing, electric shock treatment, isolation, forcefully reading of religious texts etc.
The bill still has to pass two more stages before it become a law, but currently, it is receiving support from opposition Meretz party leader Nitzan Horowitz along with Blue and White leader and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz who have in their preliminary passage marked this as a “historic change” in Israel. The bill has been co-authored by Horowitz.
Unlike the religious bent of mind of many countries in the Middle East, Israel continues to be one of the few nations which have advocated for equal rights of all individuals. Israel has celebrated the existence of anti-discrimination laws, have adoption and same-sex inheritance rights, and have allowed LBGTQs to serve in the military since 1993.
Even UK has condemned the act of gay conversion therapy that has been criticized by human right groups worldwide as showing complete lack of empathy for the LGBTQ community. The previous Israeli Education Minister Rafi Peretz had then sparked outrage when he publicly condoned “gay conversion” therapy, but his stance was not condoned by the dictator PM Benjamin Netanyahu either.