LGBT activists in Israel are demanding
the firing of Israel's education minister after he voiced support on
Saturday for therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation
or gender identity of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual
or transgender, Reuters reported.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Speaking with Israel's Channel 12 TV,
Education Minister Rafi Peretz said that he believes such therapies
“I have a very deep familiarity with
the issue of education, and I have also done this,” said Peretz, an
Orthodox rabbi and leader of the ultranationalist United Right party.
Peretz gave an example.
“First of all, I embraced him,” he
said. “I said very warm things to him. I told him, 'Let's think.
Let's study. And let's contemplate.' The objective is first of all
for him to know himself well … and then he will decide.”
In a statement, the LGBT Task Force
demanded Peretz be removed from his position.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
distanced himself from Peretz's remarks, saying they were
“unacceptable” to him and “do not reflect the position of the
The American Medical Association (AMA)
has denounced such therapies as potentially harmful.