Israel records same-sex marriage for the first time

February 02, 2007

TEL AVIV — Jerusalem has just had a same-sex marriage put on record for the first time, 365Gay reports. The couple who had their marriage recorded was Binyamin and Avi Rose, who both live in Jerusalem, were wed in Canada on June 28, and came back to Israel after. "It was wonderful to get married at the city hall in Toronto, but it was far more important for the State of Israel to recognize us as a couple," Avi Rose said to the Jerusalem Post.

The recording of Binyamin and Avi Rose’s wedding comes three months after Israel’s top court ordered the government to record same-sex marriages which have taken place in foreign countries. “On November 29, the High Court of Justice, in a case involving several couples who were married in countries where gay marriage is legal, ruled that the government [is] to register the marriages of same-sex couples married abroad in countries that recognize such unions,” according to 365Gay. The marriages are only noted, however, so the government can keep track of them, the news service says. The registration does not mean that the marriages are recognized by Israel or that the spouses get any rights, 365Gay notes. In Israel, marriage is still determined by rabbis.

However, at the same time, there is a growing recognition of same-sex couples in Israel. The country’s Family Court noted that a same-sex couple were equal parents of children back in 2005, 365Gay says.

Avi Rose said that the registration is a step in the right direction for Israel, and a positive sign that things may be changing after the brouhaha the country's Gay Pride parade provoked. "The protests last year over the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem really spooked us, and many of our friends here chose to leave the city," Avi Rose said to the Jerusalem Post. "But we are very committed to building our lives in Jerusalem and the Interior Ministry provided us with a very positive experience today." – Issued by Gay Link Content

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