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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 19:24 GMT
Israeli MP blames quakes on gays
Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest in Jerusalem against a Gay Pride parade in 2007
Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest in Jerusalem
An Israeli MP has blamed parliament's tolerance of gays for earthquakes that have rocked the Holy Land recently.

Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas Party, said the tremors had been caused by lawmaking that gave "legitimacy to sodomy".

Israel decriminalised homosexuality in 1988 and has since passed several laws recognising gay rights.

Two earthquakes shook the region last week and a further four struck in November and December.

Adoption

Mr Benizri made his comments while addressing a committee of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, about the country's readiness for earthquakes.

He called on lawmakers to stop "passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the state of Israel, which anyway brings about earthquakes".

Israeli court rulings in recent years have granted inheritance rights to gay couples and recognised same-sex marriages performed abroad.

Last week, Israel's attorney general ruled same-sex couples could adopt.

SEE ALSO
Arrests at Jerusalem gay parade
21 Jun 07 |  Middle East
In pictures: Jerusalem gay gathering
11 Nov 06 |  In Pictures
'Gay attack' on Israel synagogue
02 Nov 06 |  Middle East

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