Education Ministry Web Site Draws Fire for Discussing Homosexuality

Online remarks about homosexuality cause controversy amongst teachers.

"The flamboyance of the homosexuals borders on the disgusting. It's an issue not only of aesthetics, but of decency. They propagandize minors in order to increase their own political clout. To glorify a disability and turn it into an ideal is a distortion of morality and human nature." The remarks were posted recently on an Internet forum for civics teachers, in response to a Web site of supplementary educational materials on various topics, including homosexuality, that is supported by the Ministry of Education.

The teacher, Yair Becker of Beit Shemesh, wrote that the site serves as a "mouthpiece and stage for a blatantly one-sided position on the legitimacy of a different, not to say perverted, sexuality."

His comments were met with both support and criticism on the forum. "It's frightening to imagine the encounter between teachers with such opinions and students with questions about their sexual identity," another civics teacher wrote.

"It is human nature to be attracted to the opposite sex," Becker argued in another message. "True, there are thousands of teens whose nature endowed them with the opposite inclination. But this is no cause for celebration or for pride, just as to be proud, just as it is no cause for discrimination against them .... It is a fraud to think that the purpose here is just to protect these thousands of teens in distress. There is a political, extra-parliamentary system aimed at delegitimizing the institution of the traditional family in favor of immediate, available sexual gratification. Many naive [individuals] have surrendered to the verbal brutality of the [gay] 'community,' and in exchange for the protection of thousands of teens, tens of thousands more have ended up confused," Becker continued.

Speaking to Haaretz last night, Becker said: "I don't have a problem with the Web sites that deal with education and homosexuality, but rather with the fact that a religious student who is directed to the site by a teacher could be exposed to material that goes beyond what the teacher intended."

In the forum, Becker also said he did not want his students to talk to him about their sexual identity."They shouldn't report to anyone (except their homeroom teacher/psychologist/guidance counselor ), and they shouldn't expect me to react calmly when they share information I don't want to be exposed to," he wrote. " Just as I'm not supposed to tell my students what I like in bed, no student of mine should tell me about his sexual orientation."