TEL AVIV – The Likud party tapped its first openly gay Knesset Member to take over as Interior Minister following former minister Silvan Shalom’s resignation.
Amir Ohana, a lawyer, IDF reserve officer (pictured second from left), and veteran of the Shin Bet security service, is the first openly gay MK in the right-wing party. As head of Likud’s gay forum, he has been active in promoting LGBT rights.
Ohana will likely be sworn into the Knesset this week after Shalom resigned Sunday following allegations of sexual harassment.
“It was expected that I would enter at some point during the current Knesset,” Ohana said to Channel 2 Sunday evening. “At the same time, it unfortunately happened under unhappy circumstances. I will do my best for the State of Israel.”
Ohana lives in Tel Aviv with his partner and their four-month-old twins born to a surrogate in the US. He assisted in the return of same-sex couples stranded in Nepal who were in the middle of the surrogacy process when the country was struck with a deadly earthquake in April.
Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli, the only current LGBT Knesset Member, came out in the wake of a stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade that killed one and injured five in July.