Laws

ISRAEL

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum, Refugees
Civil Unions
  Custody of Children
Estates, Wills
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
Health, Medical
  HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
Partners
  Parenting
Property
Right of Assembly
Sodomy
Surrogacy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In July 2000, the gay age of consent in Israel was lowered from 18 to 16 [R1.1].

The change brings the gay age of consent in line with the age of consent for heterosexuals.

The amendment to the penal code also exempts consensual gay sex involving youths 14 and 15 and youths up to three years older.

R1.1 Ha'aretz : Age of Consensual Homosexual Sex Lowered in Israel 01 NOV 00
Aging, Bioethics, Health, MedicalLegislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 April 2016, Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, who refused to report for basic training on the grounds that she is a conscientious objector holding anti-occupation views, was discharged by the Israeli Defence Force on mental health grounds after being incarcerated in Military Prison 6 [R1.1].

See also 2. Gender Identity - Courts & Tribunals below at [R2.4].

R1.1 Haaretz: Israeli Military Discharges Transgender Conscientious Objector - on Mental Health Grounds 12 APR 16
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 06 January 2016, a gay couple discovered that the newborn baby they received after completing a surrogacy process in Nepal is not genetically their child and had to hand the baby girl over to its biological parents. All Israeli parents of overseas surrogate births routinely undergo tests to prove that the children are actually theirs. It is only then that the parents can formalize the status of their babies. The couple are now waiting for a second surrogate mother to give birth, to see whether the sperm they provided was used in the fertilization of that child [R1.12].

On 27 October 2014, an amendment to the Surrogacy Law of 1996 was passed (45-15, with 3 abstentions) on its first reading in the Knesset plenum and now goes to the Knesset House Committee for a decision on what committee will prepare it for its second and third readings [R1.11].

On 01 June 2014, the Cabinet approved the proposed surrogacy Bill to permit gay couples as well as single men and women in Israel to obtain surrogacy services. The Bill will go to a Knesset vote at a later date [R1.10].

On 02 March 2014, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved an amendment to the surrogacy law which would allow same-sex couples and singles to have babies through surrogacy [R1.9].

On 04 February 2014, it was reported that a government-sponsored Bill giving same-sex couples to use a surrogate in Israel was reportedly released and open for public suggestions for three weeks. The use of surrogates abroad would be restricted to couples who pay for the services of intermediary companies licensed by the government or clinics approved by special committees. Those who use surrogates abroad without going through an approved intermediary could face one year in prison [R1.8].

On 27 January 2014, the government issued a passport to the first newborn in a group of babies born to Israeli parents through surrogates in Thailand, paving the way for the parents, a same sex couple, to bring their baby home to Israel. Thai authorities require the approval of the surrogate mother as well as documents showing that she has consented to the baby being taken out of the country permanently, before permitting “parents” to leave the country with the baby after it is born [R1.7].

On 11 December 2013, Health Minister Yael German announced acceptance of the Mor- Yosef Committee recommendations to expand surrogacy law which thus far banned gay, lesbian couples from bringing a child through surrogate mother [R1.6].

Current surrogacy law allows only heterosexual couples to give birth through a surrogate mother. The unmarried are barred from creating such an agreement with an Israeli surrogate [R1.6].

On 19 March 2013, the Health Ministry Implementation Committee adopted a court recommendation to recognize both members of gay couples as parents of children born with the aid of overseas surrogacy [R1.5].

On 20 May 2012, the public committee for regulation of issues of fertility and childbirth published a report recommended that same-sex couples should be able to become the legal parents of surrogate children. The report must be approved by the Health Ministry before it can be forwarded to the Knesset for legislation [R1.4].

On 06 April 2012, it was reported that the public committee to regulate issues of fertility and childbirth in Israel – chaired by Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef and comprising of 11 lawyers, doctors and public figures – will recommend to the Health Ministry to allow same-sex couples to qualify for surrogacy in Israel [R1.3].

As at November 2011, only heterosexual couples are authorized to undergo the surrogacy procedure and the Health Ministry committee was yet to recommend authorizing same-sex couple surrogacy following a petition to the High Court of Justice 18 months ago [R1.2].

In December 2009, the Israeli Health Ministry was reportedly considering allowing gay couples to have a child through surrogate mothers, according to ministry legal adviser Mira Huebner-Harel. Since 1996 surrogacy for heterosexual couples has been lawful [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 03 February 2013, High Court of Justice recommended the state clarifies legal procedures for gay couples seeking surrogacy, as a legal framework does not exist and this amounts to discrimination [C2.3], [R2.2].

On 09 February 2012, same-sex couple Itay Pinkas and Yoav Arad reportedly petitioned the High Court with a request that the State be ordered to allow them to become parents through surrogacy [R2.1].

R1.12 TheTimesOfIsreal: Israeli gay couple discovers surrogate baby is not their child 07 JAN 16
R1.11 TheJerusalemPost: Bill to allow singles and same-sex couples to make surrogacy agreements passes on first reading 28 OCT 14
R1.10 Times Of Israel: Cabinet approves ‘surrogacy equality’ bill for gay couples 01 JUN 14
R1.9 Haaretz: Bill allowing surrogacy for Israeli singles, gay couples passes first hurdle 03 MAR 14
R1.8 Haaretz: Bill would allow same-sex couples to use surrogate in Israel 04 FEB 14
R1.7 The Jerusalem Post: Israel issues first passport to baby born to Israeli same-sex couple, surrogate mother in Thailand 27 JAN 14
R1.6 The Jerusalem Post: Health minister endorses reform to allow surrogacy for singles, homosexuals 11 DEC 13
R1.5 GayStarNews: Israel's health ministry to recognize gay couples as parents 20 MAR 13
R1.4 The Times of Isreal: State panel calls for legal surrogacy for same-sex couples 20 MAY 12
R1.3 YNET News: Committee to recommend legalization of surrogacy for gays 06 APR 12
R1.2 Haaretz: Homosexual couples fight for right to surrogate pregnancy 24 NOV 11
R1.1 The Advocate: Israel to Address Gay Surrogacy 01 DEC 09
C2.3 Quaere: Ilan Tabak-Aviram and Alon Tabak-Aviram and Yoav Arad Pinkas and Itai Pinkas v. Interior Ministry
R2.2 GayStarNews: Court tells Israeli state: ease gay couples’ surrogacy process 04 FEB 13
R2.1 YNET News: Gay couple petitions High Court for surrogacy rights 10 FEB 12
Asylum, Citizenshup, Immigration, Migration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 December 2016, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority (PIA) reportedly recently granted asylum to a 26-year-old gay Eritrean man on the grounds that his returning to his country would endanger his life due to his sexual orientation. He was granted a renewable temporary residence, which gives him the right to work and access to social and health benefits [R1.9].

On 08 December 2016, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reported to the High Court of Justice that the naturalization process for foreign same-sex partners in Israel will be the same as that of their heterosexual counterparts. According to Mandelblit's guidelines, couples of the same sex who present foreign marriage documents will be able to undergo the same procedure to receive citizenship for the foreign partner as do heterosexual couples. For heterosexual couples, the transition period lasts four years, resulting in the foreign partner receiving full citizenship [R1.8].

On 12 August 2014, Interior Minister Gidon Sa'ar (Likud) ruled that Jews in same-sex marriages can immigrate to Israel - even with a non-Jewish partner. The Right of Return also gives citizenship to spouses of the same sex when Jews choose to immigrate to Israel together [R1.7].


Israel allows an Israeli citizen to sponsor the residency application of their same-sex partner [R1.6].

Previously:

In 2000, Israel quietly began allowing gay citizens' foreign lovers to immigrate [R1.5].

At a Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, the Interior Ministry's Batya Carmon said immigration officials now treat same-sex couples the same as common-law spouses.

A foreign partner must present a request at the district office of the Interior Ministry along with proof of the relationship. The individual will receive a one-year tourist permit that allows employment.

After four years (during which the tourist permit is renewed annually), the individual can request temporary resident status. Several years later, he or she can seek permanent residency and, eventually apply for citizenship.


On 10 August 2011, the Interior Ministry reportedly granted citizenship to Bayardo Alvarez, a non-Jewish gay man married to Jewish man Joshua Goldberg, for the first time applying the Law of Return to a spouse in same-sex marriage. It is unclear whether move sets precedent [R1.4].


In July 2011, a special exceptions committee, headed by Director of the Interior Ministry's Population and Immigration Administration Amnon Ben-Ami, reportedly approved providing a foreign partner of an Israeli diplomat with a diplomatic passport and Israeli citizenship, allowing him also to join his partner on his mission abroad [R1.3].


In June 2011, Joshua Goldberg and Bayardo Alvarez, both American citizens, emigrated to Israel. Goldberg, who is Jewish, received an Israeli identity card and immigrant certificate on arrival, under the Law of Return. Alvarez, despite exerting much pressure on the ministry, was granted only temporary residence [R1.2].


In April 2008, in a rare occurrence, the interior ministry granted a gay Palestinian man a temporary permit to live with his Israeli partner [R1.1].

R1.9 ynetNews: Gay Eritrean granted asylum in Israel 10 DEC 16
R1.8 JerusalemPost: Israel to ease citizenship process for same-sex couples 08 DEC 16
R1.7 Arutz Sheva: Right of Return Extended to Gay Couples 12 AUG 14
R1.6 Arizona Republic: Immigration Laws Hurt Gay Pairs 07 AUG 01
R1.5 Capital Q: Israel Allows Partner Immigration 21 JUL 00
R1.4 Haaretz: Ministry grants citizenship to gay spouse of immigrant 02 SEP 11
R1.3 Ynetnews: Envoy to take same-sex partner abroad IL 18 JUL
R1.2 Haaretz: Israel refuses citizenship for gay man married to Jewish immigrant 28 JUN 11
R1.1 MCV: Israel Grants Gay Permit 03 APR 08
Censorship, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 14 July 2016, it was reported that the first gay pride march in the Israeli city of Beersheba was cancelled following a Supreme Court decision restricting the route of the march and citing police intelligence assessments that indicated the possibility of violence [R1.1]

R1.1 VoiceOfAmerica: Gay March in Israeli City Canceled After Court Ruling 14 JUL 16
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 August 2014, it was reported that in divorce proceedings, a rabbinic court in Jerusalem granted the custody of the children to the woman but at the husband's request, issued an order prohibiting the woman from bringing her children to meet her female romantic partner. A petition has been filed on behalf of the woman in the Supreme Court challenging the order [R1.4].


On 19 March 2001, the Israeli High Court of Justice overturned a rabbinical court ruling that prohibited a lesbian from seeing her children from a heterosexual marriage if her female lover was present [R1.3].


In September 2000, the High Court of Justice had asked Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein for his opinion on whether the district and supreme rabbinic courts were empowered to issue a ruling banning a lesbian from spending time with the biological children of her partner [R1.2].

Justices Theodore Or and Yitzchak Zamir and Acting Justice Ayala Procaccia added that if Rubinstein determined that the rabbinic courts did not have the right to rule on the matter, the High Court ruling will automatically go in favor of the couple who petitioned the court against the rabbinic decision without recourse to another hearing. [R1.2]


In early 1999, a judge in the Family Court of Israel granted each of two woman in a lesbian relationship custody rights for each of their non-biological children [R1.1].

This was the first precedent in Israel which granted recognition, even though limited, of the lesbian family.

R1.4 TheJewishDailyForward: Rabbinic Court Tells Lesbian Mother To Keep Children Away From Partner 26 AUG 14
R1.3 Sydney Xpress News: Israeli Lesbian Mother Gain Rights 29 MAR 01
R1.2 Jerusalem Post: A-G Asked to Rule on Rabbinic Court's Authority in Lesbian Case 12 SEP 00
R1.1 Yediot Achtonot: Co-Adoption by Lesbian Couple Denied 20 AUG 99
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 08 May 2016, it was reported that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) had announced that the government will recognize gay and lesbian partners of fallen soldiers as bereaved families, saying ''We view single-sex bereaved families and heterosexual bereaved families the same'' [R1.4].

On 02 July 2012, it was reported that the Israeli Prison Service announced that according to its new policy, the considerations as to whether to allow a prisoner to receive conjugal visits will be the same for both heterosexual couples and homosexual couples [R1.3].

Effective November 2010, the Civil Union Law passed in March, enables Israelis with no officially defined religion to join a civil union recognized by the state. The four recognized religions in Israel are Judaism, Islam, Christianity and the Druse faith [R3.3].

Previously, Israelis may have been recognized as civily married if they were civily married overseas, and applied for recognition of their status by the Interior Ministry upon their return [R3.3].

In 2002, the chairman of the house committee in Israel's Knesset, Yossi Katz of the Labor Party, proposed altering the Israeli parliament's rules to ensure that gay partners of Knesset members have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts [R1.2].

In 1994, same sex unions were recognized for benefit purposes [R1.1].

2.

Cities & Towns

In 2002, the Tel Aviv municipality [regulations] did not discriminate against a person in the conferral of services due to his personal status. The municipality treats couples known to the public, including single sex couples, as couples in every sense, and will confer to them the same discounts and benefits in public services which are provided to married couples [R2.1].

Persons seeking benefits under the new regulations will have to submit an affidavit, signed by an attorney, to the municipality. Copies of the declaration form on the municipality's internet site [R2.1]

3.

Courts & Tribunals

On 17 October 2012, the High Court judges upheld the Civil Union Law, enabling Israelis with no officially defined religion to join in a civil union recognized by the state. Nevertheless, the court commented in various parts of the ruling on the perceived restrictive imperfections in the law, leaving the door open for the issue to be revisited in the future [R3.3].

On 03 May 2010, the Tel Aviv District Labor Court ordered the Makefet pension fund to pay a survivor's pension to the surviving partner even though the partners hid their relationship from family members. The court also ruled that same-sex couples should not have the burdensome task of proving that they are in a committed relationship in order to collect such benefits, even if the relationship is a secret among family and acquaintances [R3.2].

In July 2007, after the death of her partner, a 64-year-old lesbian in Israel was granted a widow's pension by the Israeli government [R3.1].

R1.4 ArutzSheve: overnment to recognize gay, lesbian partners of fallen soldiers 08 MAY 16
R1.3 The Association of Civil Rights in Israel: Prisoners Can Be Alone With Their Partners – Even Same-Sex Partners 02 JUL 13
R1.2 The Advocate: Knesset Official Proposes Equal Benefits for Same-sex Partners 15 OCT 02
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R2.1 Reuters: Tel Aviv Gays to Get Married Couples' Discounts 31 JUL 03
Ha'aretz: Tel Aviv Grants Gay Couples Eligibility for Benefits 07 OCT 02
The Jerusalem Post: Unmarried Tel Aviv Couples to Get City Benefits 08 JAN 02
R3.3 The Jerusalem Post: Court rejects petition, leaves Civil Union Law intact 18 OCT 12
R3.2 The Advocate: Closeted Man Can Receive Late Partner's Pension 03 MAY 10
R3.1 The Advocate: Victory for Lesbian Widow in Israel 22 JUL 09
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 09 June 2014, it was reported that the law preventing discrimination in selling goods or services on the ground of sexual orientation only applies to public places like businesses, not private individuals selling or renting premises [R1.4].

On 18 March 2014, the Knesset voted 25-2 to pass a law amending the rights of the student prohibiting the discrimination in schools against students on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity [R1.3].

On 19 February 2012, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) delayed a vote on his bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, so that advocacy groups for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual) community can convince ministers to approve the legislation [R1.2].

In 1992, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation became unlawful [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 June 2014, Judge Moshe Yoad Cohen in the Jerusalem District Court upheld a lower court's ruling ordering an events hall to pay ₪60,000 compensation to a lesbian couple, after the venue's operators refused to let them hold their wedding reception at the hall because of the women's sexual orientation, finding the refusal violated the law prohibiting discrimination in the provision of goods and services, and entry to places of entertainment and public sites [R2.2].

On 12 September 2012, Judge Dorit Feinstein in the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court ruled that the owners of the Moshav Yad Hashmona events hall must pay Tal Ya'akovovich and Yael Biran $15,000 for refusing to host the lesbian couple's wedding reception on ideological grounds, plus legal fees and court costs [R2.1].

R1.4 Haaretz: A same-sex couple? Not in my Tel Aviv apartment building 09 JUN 14
R1.3 LGBTQ Nation: Israeli parliament bans discrimination against LGBT youth in schools 20 MAR 14
R1.2 The Jerusalem Post: Meretz MK postpones gay rights bill to seek support 19 FEB 12
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R2.2 Haaretz: Lesbian couple awarded NIS 60,000 after wedding hall turned them away 24 JUN 14
R2.1 UPI: Court rules in favor of same-sex couple 12 SEP 12

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Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 11 May 2014, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved an amendment to the Inheritance Law that would if it becomes law, allow members of a same-sex couple to include each other in their wills. At present, the Inheritance Law applies only to married couples, which are defined as "a man and a woman living as a family in a joint household" [R1.4].

In 2006, under a new proposal by the Israeli government, gay and lesbian couples in Israel would be able to inherit each other's property after death without making a special court application [R1.3].

However, Israel's Justice Minister reportedly revised a draft law on inheritance law for cohabiting unmarried couple to specifically exclude gay and lesbian couples [R1.2].


In February 2002, the Income Tax Authority asked the attorney general to support a lenient interpretation of the inheritance law that would allow same-sex partners to transfer property rights from one to the other without having to pay a tax [R1.1].

By law, the transfer of real estate between partners is tax free, but the language of the law refers to heterosexual couples. The Income Tax Authority, which implements a liberal policy in regard to the sexual makeup of the family unit, would like to allow same-sex couples enjoy the same benefits as do other couples.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 24 November 2015, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by the mother of m2f transgender May Peleg and reaffirmed a district court decision ordering that a request in May Peleg's Will asking to be cremated should be honored despite the wishes of her ultra-Orthodox family [R2.5].

On 18 November 2015, Judge Arnon Darel in the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the body of Israeli transgender activist May Peleg be cremated as she requested in her Will, despite objections by her ultra-Orthodox family who had requested an injunction to stop the cremation and that they 'be given the body for burial according to Jewish law' [R2.4]. The decision has been appealed by the haredi Orthodox family to the Supreme Court [R2.3].

In May 2011, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court set a legal precedent, declaring a gay Holocaust survivor's life partner was eligible to inherit his entire estate – including his restitution payments [R2.2].

In October 2003, an Israeli tribunal ruled that a gay man cannot claim his deceased partner's inheritance deeming that an Israeli law that recognizes an inheritance right for unmarried sexual partners applies only to heterosexual couples [R2.1].

R1.4 Ha'aretz: Ministers approve inheritance rights for same-sex couples 12 MAY 14
R1.3 The Advocate: Israel Proposes Inheritance Rights for Gay Couples 10 MAY 06
R1.2 MCV: Couple = Man and Woman in Israel 06 SEP 07
R1.1 Ha'aretz : Same-Sex Partners to Get Tax Rights 24 FEB 02
R2.5 Haaretz: Supreme Court Rejects Family's Appeal Against Transgender Woman's Cremation 24 JUN 15
R2.4 TimesOfIsreal: Body of Israeli transgender woman to be cremated, court orders 18 NOV 15
R2.3 Forward: Top Court To Decide on Cremation of Transgender Activist 22 NOV 15
R2.2 YnetNews: Court: Gay survivor's partner entitled to benefits 24 MAY 11
R2.1 The Advocate: Israeli Gay Man Denied Partner's Inheritance 23 OCT 03
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 April 2016, Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, who refused to report for basic training on the grounds that she is a conscientious objector holding anti-occupation views, was discharged by the Israeli Defence Force on mental health grounds after being incarcerated in Military Prison 6 [R1.4].

See also 2. Courts & Tribunals below at [R2.5].


On 20 January 2015, it was reported that in response to a petition filed in the High Court of Justice by (Ronit Liran Shaked and another,) two non-operative m2f transgender woman, the State Prosecution announced that it will now be possible to change the gender designation on one's identity card without actually having a sex-change operation. The existing Health Ministry committee that approves sex-change operations will set the criteria for determining a non-surgical sex change and examine the changes an applicant has undergone without the surgery. Certification by the sex-change committee will be sufficient for changing one's designation in the population registry [R1.3].

On 13 May 2014, the Ministry of Health reportedly announced it was lowering the minimum age requirement to be approved for a sex change from 21 to 18. The rules also state that gender reassignment candidates must live a minimum of only one year with their new gender identity, rather than two [R1.2].

As at 06 May 2003, the Interior Ministry reportedly only permits individuals to alter the sex listed on their identity card or change their name after presentation of a certificate that confirms that they have had a sex change operation [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 March 2017, it was reported that the Haifa Rabbinical court forced a M3F transgender person to grant the estranged wife a ''get'', [divorce document] despite his claiming he could not now give it as he is a woman and a woman is unable to grant a ''get'' [R2.6].

On 31 March 2016, it was reported that Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, was sentenced to a week in Prison Six, a men's prison, for refusing to carry out compulsory military service and faces multiple prison sentences if she continues to refuse [R2.5].

On 24 November 2015, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by the mother of m2f transgender May Peleg and reaffirmed a district court decision ordering that a request in May Peleg's Will asking to be cremated should be honored despite the wishes of her ultra-Orthodox family [R2.4].

On 18 November 2015, Judge Arnon Darel in the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the body of Israeli transgender activist May Peleg be cremated as she requested in her Will, despite objections by her ultra-Orthodox family who had requested an injunction to stop the cremation and that they 'be given the body for burial according to Jewish law' [R2.3]. The decision has been appealed by the haredi Orthodox family to the Supreme Court [R2.2].

On 12 September 2013, Justices Neal Hendel, Noam Solberg and Salim Joubran in the Supreme Court ruled that a transgender man who took part in the violent robbery of a gas station in 2010 have his time behind bars reduced because his gender identity requires him to be kept in isolation and his sentence should be reduced from 15 to 10 months in light of his special personal circumstances [R2.1].

R1.4 Haaretz: Israeli Military Discharges Transgender Conscientious Objector - on Mental Health Grounds 12 APR 16
R1.3 Israel allows gender change on ID cards without surgery 20 JAN 15
R1.2 LGBTQ Nation: Israel to lower minimum age requirement for gender reassignment surgery 15 MAY 14
R1.1 Haaretz: A transgender agenda 06 MAY 03
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.6 Transgender refuses to grant divorce, claims he is a woman 20 MAR 17
R2.5 Independent: Transgender teenager jailed for refusing military service in Israeli Defence Forces 31 MAR 16
R2.4 Haaretz: Supreme Court Rejects Family's Appeal Against Transgender Woman's Cremation 24 JUN 15
R2.3 TimesOfIsreal: Body of Israeli transgender woman to be cremated, court orders 18 NOV 15
R2.2 Forward: Top Court To Decide on Cremation of Transgender Activist 22 NOV 15
R2.1 Times of Israel: Supreme Court rules leniency for transgender prisoner 15 SEP 13
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In 1988, consensual sex between male same-sex couples was lawful [R1.2].

The law apparently does not mention lesbian couples [R1.2].


In December 1999, the then Health Minister Shiomo Benizri said that gays are sick deviants [R1.1].

R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 Capital Q: Health Minister Blasts Gays 10 DEC 99
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 01 November 2015, NGO The Aguda, also referred to as The National LGBT Task Force, was reported to have petitioned the High Court of Justice to allow same-sex marriage in Israel [R1.4].

On 27 January 2013, MK Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz was reportedly preparing to submit a same-sex marriage law to the next Knesset [R1.3].

On 16 May 2012, the Knesset, which is responsible for passing all laws in Israel, threw out legislation put forward by Nitzan Horowitz, of the left-wing Meretz party, which would allow same-sex as well as inter-faith couples to wed [R1.2].

In August 2000, legislation to grant legal recognition to couples whose marriages are not recognized by the rabbinate reportedly would not be extended to include gay and lesbian couples [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 20 March 2017, it was reported that the Haifa Rabbinical court forced a M3F transgender person to grant the estranged wife a ''get'', [divorce document] despite his claiming he could not now give it as he is a woman and a woman is unable to grant a ''get'' [R2.7].

On 09 January 2017, a panel of High Court justices considering a petition filed by the Aguda national LGBT task force, that seeks to legalize gay marriage in Israel, reportedly expressed empathy about same-sex couples' situation, but suggested that the matter was probably one for the Knesset [R2.6].

On 09 December 2013, Tel Aviv Family Court Judge Naftali Shilo handed down the second court decision in the country's history approving the divorce of a homosexual couple. The court sidestepped the question of gay marriage, approving the divorce by merely ordering the Registrar to strike the couple's married status from its list of married couples [R2.5].

On 02 December 2012, the Ramat Gan Family Court granted the divorce of Professor Avi Even and Dr. Amit Kama, who married in Canada in 2004, setting a new precedent in rejecting argument that only the rabbinical courts have the authority to dissolve marriage [R2.4].

On 21 November 2006, in an unprecedented 6-1 ruling, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad [C2.3], [R2.2].

In September 2000, recognizing a same-sex marriage was considered not to be within the scope of the family court system, according to a legal opinion submitted to the Ramat Gan Family Court on behalf of Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein [R2.1].

R1.4 TheJerusalemPost: NGO petitions High Court to allow same-sex marriage in Israel 01 NOV 15
R1.3 Arutz Sheva: First Proposed Law: Same-Sex Marriage 27 JAN 13
R1.2 GayStarNews: Israeli government rejects gay marriage bill 16 MAY 12
R1.1 The Advocate: Israeli Bill Limited to Straight Couples 31 AUG 00
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.7 Transgender refuses to grant divorce, claims he is a woman 20 MAR 17
R2.6 Haaretz: High Court Hints That It Won't Legalize Gay Marriage in Israel 10 JAN 17
R2.5 The Jerusalem Post: Gay divorce approved for second time in Israel's history 10 DEC 13
R2.4 JTA: Israeli court grants first gay divorce 03 DEC 12
C2.3 Judgment: Yossi Ben-Ari & Ors. v. Director of Population Administration, Ministry of Interior HCJ 3045/05 PDF 314.30kb, 21 NOV 06
R2.2 365Gay.com: Israel Supreme Court Tells Gov't To Register Gay Marriages Performed Abroad 21 NOV 06
R2.1 Jerusalem Post: Same-Sex Marriage Not in Court's Purview 15 SEP 00
Military Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
1.

National

On 08 May 2016, it was reported that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) had announced that the government will recognize gay and lesbian partners of fallen soldiers as bereaved families, saying ''We view single-sex bereaved families and heterosexual bereaved families the same'' [R1.8].

On 10 April 2016, Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, who refused to report for basic training on the grounds that she is a conscientious objector holding anti-occupation views, was discharged by the Israeli Defence Force on mental health grounds after being incarcerated in Military Prison 6 [R1.7].

See also 2. Courts & Tribunals below at [R2.4].


On 03 December 2015, it was reported that the Israeli military announced earlier in the week that it had scrapped a ban on HIV-positive recruits and will soon begin enlisting HIV-positive soldiers to non-combat roles [R1.6].

On 19 May 2015, it was reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had updated its regulations to apply to any couple recognized as being in a relationship by the Israeli National Insurance Institute, to accommodate the family needs of reservists who are in same-sex relationships in the same way they do those in opposite-sex relationships, including applications to postpone their compulsory service if both members of the couple are asked to deploy militarily at the same time [R1.5].

On 15 August 2011, a study was released in which LGBT soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force were asked about their treatment throughout the induction process and 40% said they have been subjected to verbal attacks, while 20% claim to have been physically or sexually assaulted [R1.4].

As at February 2006, Israeli teenagers are required to serve in the nation's military. But they can seek an exemption for various reasons and sign up for a national service agency instead, a popular option for among women in the religious population [R1.3].

In 1993, the Israeli government lifted the ban on openly gay men and lesbians joining the services [R1.2].

In July 2000, a study by U.S. researchers found that the presence of gay and lesbian soldiers in the Israeli military did not affect combat readiness, unit cohesion, or military preparedness [R1.2] [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 31 March 2016, it was reported that Aiden Katri, a 19-year-old trans woman, was sentenced to a week in Prison Six, a men's prison, for refusing to carry out compulsory military service and faces multiple prison sentences if she continues to refuse [R2.4].

On 13 February 2013, a court appeals committee headed by Judge Shlomit Jakubowicz instructed the defense ministry to compensate Julie Algavassi, a 3 year-old girl who lost her lesbian mother's partner Faviola Bohadana in a fire incident, ruling the step-child was a dependent at the time of her step-mother's death [R2.3].

In March 1997, the Israeli Defence Force was appealing a District Court Appeals Committee ruling that gave a military spousal pension to Adir Steiner, a gay man whose male lover, Colonel Doron Meisel died of cancer in 1991 [R2.2].

Previously:

In January 1997, the District Court ordered the army to recognise a gay man as the spouse of a deceased male colonel and extend him the same benefits as military widows [R2.1].

R1.8 ArutzSheve: overnment to recognize gay, lesbian partners of fallen soldiers 08 MAY 16
R1.7 Haaretz: Israeli Military Discharges Transgender Conscientious Objector - on Mental Health Grounds 12 APR 16
R1.6 Out: Israeli Military Lifts Ban on HIV-Positive Recruits 03 DEC 15
R1.5 GayStarNews: Israel Defense Forces change service regulations to accommodate same-sex parents 19 MAY 15
R1.4 The Advocate: Gay Israeli Soldiers Report Regular Abuse 16 AUG 11
R1.3 The Advocate: Israeli Teens Can Choose Between Military and Gay Rights Groups 28 FEB 06
R1.2 The Advocate: Gays in Israeli Military Don’t Hurt Combat Readiness - Study 01-03 JUL 00
R1.1 Palm Center: Did Lifting the Gay Ban Undermine Military Performance? JUN 00
R2.4 Independent: Transgender teenager jailed for refusing military service in Israeli Defence Forces 31 MAR 16
R2.3 GayStarNews: Israeli girl wins court pay-out after mum's lesbian partner dies in fire 14 FEB 13
R2.2 Capital Q: Israeli Military Ruling Appeal 21 MAR 97
R2.1 Sydney Star Observer: Army to Recognise Gay Spouse 16 JAN 97
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 19 May 2015, it was reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had updated its regulations to apply to any couple recognized as being in a relationship by the Israeli National Insurance Institute, to accommodate the family needs of reservists who are in same-sex relationships in the same way they do those in opposite-sex relationships, including applications to postpone their compulsory service if both members of the couple are asked to deploy militarily at the same time [R1.6].

On 17 November 2014, the Interior Ministry started issuing new identity cards to the children of gay parents that recognize they have two fathers or mothers. Previously, all ID cards listed 'mother's name' and 'father’s name'. On the new cards, 'father's name' or 'mother's name' appear twice [R1.5].

On 13 September 2013, The Interior Ministry was reported to have recognized two biological fathers of the same baby. Transgender man Yuval Topper-Erez gave birth to her partner Matan Topper-Erez's baby in December 2011. Yuval was first identified as female in order to register the child with his spouse, and then his registration was changed to male [R1.4].

On 12 May 2013, Attorney General Yehudi Weinstein reportedly ruled that pending the finalization of proper legislation, family courts will be able to issue a court order recognizing a non-biological father's parenthood following a genetic test proving the parenthood of the biological father of children conceived through a surrogacy process and other conditions to be further elaborated in future legislation, without the previous need for a lengthy and complex adoption process [R1.3].

On 19 March 2013, the Health Ministry Implementation Committee adopted a court recommendation to recognize both members of gay couples as parents of children born with the aid of overseas surrogacy [R1.2].

On 17 May 2010, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu intervened on the side of gay father Don Goldberg stranded in India with his twin sons, overruling the judge's decision. "I spoke this morning with the Interior Ministry and instructed it to relax the law and let the family return to Israel," Netanyahu said [R1.1].

See 2. Courts & Tribunals [R2.11], [R2.10].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 07 August 2016, the Tel Aviv Family Court reportedly ruled that children born through surrogacy abroad can be adopted by homosexual couples without a paternity test, about which the High Court has been vague [R2.15].

On 25 November 2015, Tel Aviv Family Court Judge Yehoram Shaked issued a ruling recognizing an interfaith lesbian couple as the mothers of each other's children, overturning the law that requires the adoptive parent and the child be of the same religion [R2.14].

On 28 January 2014, the High Court made a vague ruling when it endorsed a gay couple's adoption of a child born through surrogacy while rejecting another's, and left up in the air the issue of whether a paternity test was required for a successful adoption [R2.15].

On 04 March 2012, Judge Alyssa Miller, of Ramat Gan Family Court, ruled that a lesbian couple who underwent a medical procedure with the permission of the government six years ago, in which the egg of one woman was fertilized with the sperm of an anonymous donor and implanted in the womb of her partner, both be recognized as the mothers of a baby boy [R2.13].


On 16 December 2010, the Jerusalem Family Court ruled that the partner of a man could adopt a child born two years go to the man via a surrogate mother in India [R2.12].


In October 2010, a judicial ombudsman called the judge's handling in the case in which a gay Israeli man who earlier fathered twins with an Indian surrogate before being denied entry back into the country with his children, "unnecessary, hurtful, and beyond the bounds of appropriate behavior" [R2.11].

In May 2010, the Jerusalem family court denied a gay Israeli man, Don Goldberg, reentry into the country with his twin sons, Itai and Liron, born to a surrogate mother in India, pending a paternity test to confirm that he is their father [R2.10].

However, see 1. State [R1.1].


In March 2009, a Tel Aviv family court ruled that a gay couple can adopt the son they took in 14 years ago [R2.9].


In March 2008, the Family Court in Tel Aviv ruled that a gay couple can both register to be their adopted son's father [R2.8].


In December 2007, Israel's Supreme Court said the government must recognise foreign adoptions by same-sex parents [R2.7].


In May 2000, the High Court of Justice allowed a lesbian spouse to be registered as the second parent of her partner's biological son [R2.6].


In January 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian couple is able to legally adopt each other's children [R2.5].


In November 2005, the Be'er Sheva Family Court ruled that a lesbian woman can adopt her female partner's daughter [R2.4].


In 2002, a homosexual couple petitioned the High Court of Justice requesting that it instruct the Interior Ministry to register both men as fathers of a child they have adopted in the US where the authorities registered both men as the fathers of the boy [R2.3] [R2.2].


In August 1999, a request by a lesbian couple for co-adoption of their non-biological children was denied by the Family Court in Israel [R2.1].

R1.6 GayStarNews: Israel Defense Forces change service regulations to accommodate same-sex parents 19 MAY 15
R1.5 GayStarNews: Israel issues new ID cards to children of same-sex parents 18 NOV 14
R1.4 The Jewish Daily Forward: Israeli Transgender Mom Recognized as Child's 'Father' in Same-Sex First 16 SEP 13
R1.3 YnetNews: AG eases parenthood process for same-sex couples 12 MAY 13
R1.2 GayStarNews: Israel's health ministry to recognize gay couples as parents 20 MAR 13
R1.1 The Advocate: Israeli PM Says Gay Dad Can Come Home 17 MAY 10
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.15 TheJerusalemPost: Court: Gay adoption of child born through surrogacy possible without paternity test 09 AUG 16
R2.14 Haaretz: Israeli Court Recognizes Interfaith Lesbian Couple as Mothers of Each Other's Children 26 NOV 15
R2.13 GayStarNews: Lesbian couple can both be mother, Israel court rules 06 MAR 12
R2.12 The Jerusalem Post: Legal ruling will allow gay men to adopt partner's child 20 DEC 10
R2.11 The Advocate: Court Rebuked in Israeli Surrogacy Case 20 OCT 10
R2.10 The Advocate: Gay Adoptive Father Barred From Israel Reentry 10 MAY 10
R2.9 PinkNews.co.uk: Court permits Israeli gay couple to adopt son 11 MAR 09
R2.8 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
PinkNews.co.uk: Gay Adoption Ruling May Set Precedent in Israel 18 MAR 08
R2.7 bnews: Israel OK's Adoption 13 DEC 07
R2.6 Ha'aretz: High Court: Child May Have Two Mothers 30 MAY 00
R2.5 MCV: Israel OK's Gay Adoption 14 JAN 05
R2.4 MCV: Court Oks Lesbian Adoption 16 NOV 05
R2.3 Ha'aretz: State Won't Register Gay Couple's Adopted Child 24 SEP 02
R2.2 Ha'aretz: Gay Couple Seeks Recognition of Son 18 JUN 02
R2.1 Yediot Achtonot: Co-Adoption by Lesbian Couple Denied 20 AUG 99
Taxation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 25 December 2013, the Knesset passed 44-20 a bill to allow same-sex parents to enjoy the same tax benefits as heterosexual couples with children. The Finance Ministry is expected to approve the reform by regulation [R1.2].

In February 2002, the Income Tax Authority asked the attorney general to support a lenient interpretation of the inheritance law that would allow same-sex partners to transfer property rights from one to the other without having to pay a tax [R1.1].

By law, the transfer of real estate between partners is tax free, but the language of the law refers to heterosexual couples. The Income Tax Authority, which implements a liberal policy in regard to the sexual makeup of the family unit, would like to allow same-sex couples enjoy the same benefits as do other couples.

R1.2 GayStarNews: Israeli parties come to compromise to allow equal tax breaks for same-sex parents 26 DEC 13
R1.1 Ha'aretz : Same-Sex Partners to Get Tax Rights 24 FEB 02
Violence, Bullying, Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

National

In April 1998, the Israeli Knesset passed a law that bans anti-gay sexual harassment and other anti-gay actions in the workplace and all other facets of life.

Violators face civil and criminal penalities as high as two years in prison.

"Sexual harassment" is defined, in part, as "a despising or humiliating attitude that is shown toward a person regarding his sex or sexuality, including his sexual orientation." [R1.1].

Quaere does the use of the words "his" and … his sexual orientation" thereby exclude lesbians?

R1.1 Capital Q: Harassment Banned 17 APR 98

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