Pride Alert: Tel Aviv Registering Same-Sex Couples as Married
In lieu of this year's gay pride parades in Israel, rallies were held. Yes, Israel is ahead of much of the world (and light years ahead of its neighbors) when it comes to LGBT rights, but there are still things that they have not yet achieved. One of these things is gay marriage.
To understand this, we need to understand that personal status and life cycle events fall under the old Ottoman law code (yes from over 100 years ago) in that they are assigned to the various religious communities to handle. As such there is no civil marriage at all in Israel. This of course also means that a Jew cannot marry a Christian, a Christian cannot marry a Muslim, a Muslim cannot marry a Jew and nobody can marry someone of their own gender. What Israel does in this case is that it will recognize such marriages done abroad, you know, as opposed to actually changing the law here. This has created a huge wedding business in nearby Cyprus for Israelis who want to marry outside of the traditional religious frameworks.
Well, Tel Aviv just decided that they wanted to challenge the status quo (the press says the rabbinate, but in essence it is the entire religious and legal establishment across the board). Whatever happens, maybe after 72 years we are mature enough to start having these difficult conversations already about who we are and our visions for a shared society? You know instead of this ridiculous Cyprus loophole sham that we have going on now?
Want to learn more about the LGBT community in Israel and the challenges they face? If and when you come on tour with your trusty tour guide of Israel, I am happy to include an LGBT tour of Tel Aviv on your itinerary.
To see more about what Tel Aviv is doing, what is means for the people affected, why it is so radical and the challenges it presents to the status quo and the government (not only on behalf of the LGBT community), check out these articles:
Photo on left by Flash 90 2020
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