Rabbis from an ultra-orthodox settlement on Israel’s West Bank have launched an initiative to marry lesbians to gay men.
In a drive to suppress individuals’ sexuality and allow them to lead ‘normal’ lives, eleven marriages have been performed so far.
One married couple, interviewed by Israeli news site Haaretz.com, said that although they were honest with each other about their sexuality from the beginning it is important for them to appear to the outside world as a “normal heterosexual couple”.
The couple were married five years ago and now have two children who were conceived via artificial insemination. They said, “Six years ago, we didn’t think we would ever be this happy. We thought everything was black, that we’d lost the chance for a normal life. But today, things are good for us”.
All of these matches are arranged by Rabbi Areleh Harel of the West Bank settlement of Shilo.
Rabbi Harel, whose twelfth couple have just announced their engagement and who currently has a list of another 30 gay men and 20 lesbians seeking heterosexual matches, said, “They don’t deny their sexual identity, but they want to establish a home, whether for the sake of becoming parents or for the social recognition”.