“Robbing a bank and being homosexual is the same,” says Lehava representative Meir David Koperschmidt ahead of the far-right Jewish group’s planned protest against the Jerusalem gay pride parade on Thursday evening.
Koperschmidt equates homosexuality with theft or breaking Shabbat to explain why he rejects the gay pride parade. “It is a big prohibition in the Torah,” he tells The Jerusalem Post.
“Lehava is against everything that wants to destroy the Jewish nation,” Koperschmidt continues, answering in the affirmative when questioned over whether he believes that homosexual relations destroy the Jewish nation. “It’s against what’s normal and how we’re preserving the Jewish nation and the Jewish family,” he emphasizes. Koperschmidt further expresses his belief that homosexuals have issues and need to seek help rather than attending the pride parade. “What have they got to be proud about?” he asks rhetorically.
Lehava released a statement ahead of the pride parade, stating that it will not allow the event “to pass quietly.” The group announced that its members will show up at the parade holding rainbow colored banners reading: “Mum, where is Dad?” and “Dad, where is Mum?”
“The threat posed to the Jewish family doesn’t just come from assimilation but also from undermining the sanctity of marriage. It cannot be that something that is declared in the Torah as an abomination will become a source of pride, and there is certainly no place for this in the heart of Jerusalem, the holy city,” asserted Lehava CEO Benzi Gopstein.
Lehava, which usually invests its energy in protesting intermarriage, has stirred great controversy since its founding in 2009. Earlier this year, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he was weighing the possibility of outlawing the organization, after several of its members and its leader were arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred and three of its members were previously indicted for allegedly setting alight an integrated Jerusalem school and spray-painting anti-Arab graffiti there. The group also made headlines nationwide for trying to stop the wedding of a Muslim man and a Jewish-born woman last year.