Gay couple register as married in Israel
An English immigrant to Israel has had his marriage registered by officials in Jerusalem.
Binyamin Rose and his American husband Avi have successfully registered themselves as a married couple.
They married in Canada in June last year, then returned to Jerusalem.
This is the first time since a Supreme Court decision three months ago ruled marriages performed abroad are legal inside Israel that two gay men have been registered as married.
“We did the civil ceremony in the hopes that we would eventually be able to make legal what we felt inside,” Avi told The Jerusalem Post.
“We wanted the government of Israel to recognise that we are a couple.
“It was no more of a statement than [coming from] a ‘regular’ couple, but we are both committed Zionists and are hopeful that our union will bring more progress on this issue.”
The state of Israel is by far the most tolerant towards LGBT people in the Middle East, but does not allow same-sex marriages.
The city of Tel Aviv recognises unmarried couples, both gay and straight, and grants them discounts when using municipal services, and the country’s civil service extends spousal benefits to gay partners.
The Israeli government is considering a legal form of civil partnership or union for gay and lesbian couples.