In certain cases, defendants were found guilty of "sodomy" which according to Israeli law included oral sex as well , apparently by way of plea bargains: Those defendants had been indicted for more serious sexual offences. It was also used as " aggravating circumstances " for other sexual offences. There were also several cases of soldiers tried for homosexual acts in military courts. The Attorney General decided in the early s, and the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in , that the law should not be applied to acts between consenting adults in private.
The ban on consensual same-sex sexual acts was formally repealed by the National Legislative Assembly Knesset in On 6 October , Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced that the Israel Government had just issued an order to give a divided 10 million shekels to various governments over a two-year period to examine the nation's LGBT community for possible discriminations.
A leading LGBT nonprofit called the move historic and Haaretz journalist Ilan Lior noted that it would even result in a major examination of issues such as the MSM blood transfusion restrictions. Between and , numerous rights were granted to Israeli same-sex couples. Same-sex marriage cannot legally be performed in Israel.
Israeli law allows same-sex marriages performed elsewhere to be registered, but not recognized based upon a Israeli Supreme Court decision which stated "Before we conclude, let us reemphasize what it is that we are deciding today, and what it is that we are not deciding today.
We are deciding that within the context of the status of the population registry as a recorder of statistics, the registration official should register in the population register what is implied by the public certificate that is presented to him by the petitioners, according to which the petitioners are married and in view of the role of the registration official as a collector of statistical material for the purpose of managing the registry We are not deciding that marriage between persons of the same sex is recognized in Israel; we are not recognizing a new status of such marriages; we are not adopting any position with regard to recognition in Israel of marriages between persons of the same sex that take place outside Israel whether between Israeli residents or between persons who are not Israeli residents "  Civil marriage doesn't exist in Israel for heterosexual couples either except where both heterosexual spouses do not belong to any of the recognized religious communities in the country ,  and therefore only a marriage sanctioned by the small number of officially recognized religious authorities can take place within Israel.
This restriction forces not only same-sex couples, but also all mixed-religion heterosexual couples and any person who wishes a non-religious marriage, to marry outside the country. The State of Israel allows foreign partners of its homosexual citizenry to receive residency permits. The Civil Service Commission extends spousal benefits and pensions to the partners of homosexual employees.
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The Israeli State Attorney's Office has extended the spousal exemption from property-transfer taxes to same-sex couples. Israel's Attorney General has granted legal recognition to same-sex couples in financial and other business matters.
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Attorney General Meni Mazuz said the couples will be treated the same as common-law spouses, recognizing them as legal units for tax, real estate, and financial purposes. Mazuz made his decision by refusing to appeal a district court ruling in an inheritance case that recognized the legality of a same-sex union, his office said in a statement. Mazuz did differentiate, however, between recognizing same-sex unions for financial and practical purposes, as he did, and changing the law to officially sanction the unions, which would be a matter for Parliament, according to the statement.
The city of Tel Aviv recognizes unmarried couples, including gays and lesbians, as family units and grants them discounts for municipal services. Under the bylaw, unmarried couples qualify for the same discounts on daycare and the use of swimming pools, sports facilities, and other city-sponsored activities that married couples enjoy. On 29 January , following a Supreme Court ruling ordering them to do so, Jerusalem registered its first same-sex couple, Avi and Binyamin Rose.
In , Israel's marriage law was amended with the passage of the Civil Union Law for Citizens with no Religious Affiliation, ,  allowing an opposite-sex couple to form a civil union in Israel if they are both registered as officially not belonging to any religion. There have been 5 failed legislative attempts in the Knesset to recognise same-sex unions. The first attempt was a civil marriage bill, which included provisions for same-sex marriages, introduced by Meretz.
On 8 July , the Knesset rejected the Meretz and Yesh Atid bills, in a vote,  while Hatnuah's bill was rejected on 22 February in a vote. The bill failed by just three votes, Adoption by LGBT parents had only been permitted in certain restricted situations, notably when a previous connection exists between the adopting parent and the child, such as being a family member or a foster child. On 10 January , the Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian couple is able to legally adopt each other's children.
During the past 15 years that Tal and Avital Jarus-Hakak had lived together, they had a total of three children. The couple petitioned the Tel Aviv Family Court for the right to formally adopt each other's children in , but the request was rejected because Israel's adoption law had no provisions for same-sex couples. The couple appealed. Citing Article 25 of the Adoption Law , the Jarus-Hakaks argued that the law allows for "special circumstances" for adoption when it is for the good of the child, even if the child's parents are still alive.
The only condition is that the person seeking to adopt be single. The couple argued that since the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, they are single by law. They added that adoption was in the best interest of the children if one of their natural mothers should die.
The Supreme Court of Israel agreed, ruling 7—2 in favor of the couple. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the couple was allowed to adopt each other's biological children on 12 February Before that, the gay partner of the parent was granted guardianship over their partner's children. Lesbian couples can also legally gain access to IVF and assisted insemination. In February , a court in Israel ruled that same-sex couples are now permitted to adopt a child even if that child is not biologically related to either parent.
The site also has a complete timeline of gay rights milestones in Israel. On 10 March , the Tel Aviv Family Court ruled that former Knesset member Uzi Even and his partner, Amit Kama, could legally adopt their year-old foster son, Yossi, making them the first same-sex male couple in Israel whose right of adoption was legally acknowledged.
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On 28 January , the Israel High Court of Justice ruled in favor of a May modification by Israel Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and stated that same-sex couples in Israel could easily adopt through surrogacy so long as the biological parent in the same-sex relationship was willing to take a paternity test or present highly convincing alternative medical and legal evidence of paternity.
In late August , the Israeli Government announced that it no longer opposes same-sex adoption and that new criteria for adoption would be enacted. Under the new criteria, the potential parents can legally adopt a child, regardless of their sexual orientation. Opposite-sex and same-sex couples are given equal treatment. From to , only 3 same-sex couples out of applicants were able to adopt, compared to 1, opposite-sex adoptions. Israeli surrogacy law allows opposite-sex couples to sign a surrogacy agreement with a surrogate mother. In July , the Knesset passed a bill expending surrogacy rights to single women, but rejected an amendment that would have included same-sex couples.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the amendment, but later voted against it due to objections from Orthodox groups. Subsequently, an estimated , people marched in Tel Aviv in protest. Despite the passage of the law, several court rulings have protected surrogacy rights for same-sex couples. In July , the Israeli High Court proposed to make it easier for children raised by same-sex couples to be registered on official documents with the names of both their parents. Under the proposal, the non-biological parent would have to send a notice to the Interior Ministry. However, the Israeli Government has rejected this, and insists that same-sex couples must receive a court order if they wish to register their child ren with both their names.
In a landmark case, the top court ruled that the Interior Ministry cannot refuse this right based on the parent's sex. The ruling came after two gay men adopted a son, then tried to get both names on his birth certificate. But government officials refused to write both names on the birth certificate. Supreme Court Justice Neal Hendel said in the decision: The contrast with the treatment of a child adopted by a heterosexual couple, who has the right to have both adopted parents written in a birth certificate, is a contrast that applies both to the child and to the parents It is unreasonable for the couple to be [legally] recognized as parents but for the certificate not to give expression to that fact.
Treatment for gender dysphoria in Israel can be paid for using the country's public health insurance system if a patient receives approval by the Committee for Sex Reassignment operating out of Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer , which consists of an endocrinologist , a urologist , and a plastic surgeon and is organized by the Health Ministry.
All sex reassignment surgery operations in Israel are furthermore performed by Dr. Haim Kaplan at Sheba Medical Center under this committee's approval. However, many transgender Israelis have had trouble getting approval for treatment by this committee due to their stringent opinions on gender dysphoria. A law was introduced to the Knesset in June to eliminate gender markers on National Identity Cards. Since , the Health Ministry has allowed transgender people to change legal gender without undergoing sex reassignment surgery or a sex change operation. Openly gay , lesbian and bisexual soldiers serve without hindrance in all branches of the military.
Discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers in recruitment, placement and promotion is prohibited in Israel. The military recognizes same-sex couples, including widows and widowers of the same sex. Furthermore, the IDF considers certain transition -specific medical treatment hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery and counseling to be medically necessary for those diagnosed with transsexualism and thus pays for said treatments.
The IDF also determines gender specific army regulations length of service, which gender to be housed with, whether they are to wear a male or female uniform, etc. However, given that Israeli law makes it difficult for its transsexuals to begin transition until they reach 18, the draft age, and does not normally allow for sex reassignment surgery to be performed before the age of 21, so far the only person who underwent surgery while serving is Shachae Erez, the first openly transgender person to become an officer.
Furthermore, many draftees diagnosed with gender dysphoria can receive exemption from military service at their own request. This couple was the first same-sex, different-religion married couple to request joint Aliyah status, although opposite-sex married couples of opposite religions receive joint Aliyah as a matter of course. The Jewish man quickly received citizenship but the decision of citizenship for his husband was delayed by the Ministry of the Interior despite the clause in the law saying the spouse of the Jewish immigrant must also be granted citizenship.
In December , Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an instruction to Israel's Interior Ministry to consider applications for citizenship by same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally under the same terms. The same-sex spouse of an Israeli will now be able to claim Israeli citizenship at the same speed as an opposite-sex spouse.
Previously, same-sex couples had to wait up to seven years, and would generally only be granted permanent residency, rather than citizenship. The process was far quicker for opposite-sex couples. LGBT couples in Israel have the same pension, inheritance and medical rights as heterosexual couples. In , an amendment was added to the nation's Libel and Slander Law. Since , LGBT youth have been protected at different schools around the country.
Conversion therapy has a negative effect on the lives of LGBT people, and can lead to low self-esteem, depression and suicide ideation. It commonly includes electroshock therapy , forced chemical castration , exorcism , the administration of nausea-inducing drugs, and especially talk therapy. In October , the Ministry of Health issued a statement announcing that it considers conversion therapy to "create false impressions of scientific recognition even though there is no scientific evidence that it is at all successful.
It may also cause harm to the individual. According to February reports, none of the 20 complaints filed had been dealt with by the committee. The committee is supposed to convene monthly. In February , the Knesset rejected a bill introduced by former Health Minister Yael German that would have banned conversion therapy in Israel for minors. The bill was rejected Several conversion therapy advocates have moved to Israel from the United States , due to a growing number of bans on the pseudoscientific practice there. Since 1 June , gay and bisexual men in Israel have been allowed to legally donate blood following a one-year deferral period.
In January , the Health Ministry approved new regulations allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood, regardless of when they last had sex; just like for straight men. Representatives from other parties, including Hatnuah , Hadash , and the Labor Party, also pledged support. Minister and MK Limor Livnat , however, did state that getting the ruling Likud-Beiteinu to legislate same-sex marriage would be difficult due to differing opinions concerning the issue within the party, but promised to do her utmost to get her party behind the issue.
Nevertheless, there still have been anti-gay politicians. In , President Ezer Weizman compared homosexuality to alcoholism in front of high school students.
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Shortly following, people demonstrated outside of Weizman's residence, demanding his resignation. He later apologised for these statements. Benizri said in a Knesset plenary session, "Why do earthquakes happen? One of the reasons is the things to which the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy. Benizri stated that, "A cost-effective way of averting earthquake damage would be to stop passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the State of Israel, which anyways causes earthquakes. But they can't make demands from me, as the state.
On 23 February , the Knesset marked the first LGBT rights day, but on 24 February , the parties that form the governing coalition, Likud , United Torah Judaism , Shas , Kulanu , and the Jewish Home , supported by opposition members, defeated bills to recognize bereaved widowers , ban conversion therapy , recognize same-sex marriage , and train health professionals to deal with gender and sexual inclination issues.