Jasmine Wilson Same Sex Marriage in Israel Israel is a place that is commonly known for its religious standing. So the question of same sex marriage is not one that I thought would be relevant to such a place, but I was surprised to find that in Israel is people are fighting for same sex marriage. Jewish officials in this country are against same sex marriage due to the connection of religion with the state but there is a large gay population who want equal rights.
Israel is the only country in the middle-east and Asia that recognizes same sex unions, “On November 21, 2006 Israel’s High Court of Justice rules that two gay men married in Canada, as well as four other same-sex couples wedded abroad, should have their union recognized in Israel. ” (www. cbcNews. com, May10, 2010) Although there is no civil marriage in Israel, since all family matters are decided in a religious context, same-sex marriages, and all other non-religious marriages performed elsewhere are recognized in Israel.
The union allows for gay couples to receive a partner’s pension upon death, and all other financial matters that married couples would normally face together same-sex couples are now allowed to have. (www. israelinationalnews. com, May 10, 2010) The decision to allow gay couples unions to be recognized in Israel sparked criticism and outrage throughout Israel, people felt that this decision would be the destruction of the family unit. As for adoptions for same-sex couples it is still a fairly new issue in Israel.
For lesbian couples they are allowed to adopt each other’s biological children. A Supreme Court decision was made on January 10, 2005 that allowed for this. More recently the Supreme Court said that all same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children whom are not biologically related to either spouse. In March of 2008 two men were named the legal fathers of a child. Israelis Attorney General Mauz said that “There is nothing that dictates that adoption of a child by the same-sex couples is not in the best interest of the child”. lifesitenews. com, May10, 2010) In relation to what we have learned in class Israel is going through a lot of the same things that other nations are struggling with, the mixing of sex and gender and not understanding that although people are born male or female there are other genders in between. The extreme religious views of many people in Israel are holding back from progress and in other nations like America it is politics. People are so set in their ways that it is hard to see that the world is not just black and white.
In the article AYoung Man From Chelm he discusses his gender and being Jewish, the article reminded me a lot many of the people that I researched when finding information about same-sex marriage in Israel. Everything was very gender specific even as for same-sex couples. Judaism really combined sex and gender and that creates confusion, all rules are were made for man and women were created to raise children and tend to the home. (Kanegson,213) That is also the way that society was run in Israel, this being the reason that lesibian women were allowed adoption rights before gay man.
Men were not thought to be home makers or parents so it took them longer to receive the right to adopt. Israel is obviously growing to accept the gay community. Each year they are making steps to make life better for all the people of Israel, by opening the doors for the community. Although there is still a large orthodox population who believes that gay rights equal damnation it is no longer their ruling alone that will dictate the future of all of Israel. For the Gay community although the battle is not completely over it seems that they are slowly breaking down barriers that once hindered them from having a peaceful life.