A victory: Israel's High Court orders Gay marriage recognition. November 21, 2006 3:57 PM
Israel's high court orders gay marriage recognition
published Tuesday, November 21, 2006
In a landmark ruling, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad.
The lone dissenter on the seven-judge panel was an observant Jew, highlighting the controversy the decision immediately touched off among ultra-Orthodox Jews and other conservative groups in Israel.
Efforts by Israel's gay community to win approval for same-sex marriage, a key issue in the United States and Europe, face a major obstacle because Israel's religious authorities have a monopoly over marriage and divorce.
Yossi Ben-Ari and Laurent Schuman were married in Canada after that country legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. Determined after a 21-year partnership to enjoy all the privileges of a married couple in Israel, they were among five couples who petitioned the Supreme Court to have their marriage registered there, too.
"We're delighted, but the struggle is not over," Ben-Ari said.
Moshe Negbi, a legal expert, said the court's decision is mostly symbolic because same-sex couples in Israel already had many of the rights of heterosexual partnerships. The significant changes are that they will now get the same tax breaks as a married couple and be able to adopt children, Negbi said.
Israeli law stipulates a couple must be married to adopt a child.
"The marriages of same-sex couples who marry in places like Canada where the law recognizes such marriages, will also be recognized in Israel, and they will be registered as married here," Negbi said.
Source: Gay News
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