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Israel allows Jews to immigrate with same-sex spouses

August 12, 2014

The Israeli Government says it will now allow Jews to immigrate to Israel with their non-Jewish same-sex spouses.

Interior Minister Gideon Saar told immigration authorities on Tuesday not to differentiate between married gay and straight couples.

Israel does not permit gay couples to marry in the country, but recognises same-sex marriages if they were performed legally abroad.

Israeli law grants citizenship to Jews and close non-Jewish relatives who move to Israel.

“The gates of Israel will be opened before every Jew and his family without discriminating against his lifestyle,” Mr Sa’ar stated.

Same-sex marriages are recognised in Israel, but must be conducted overseas as only the religious authorities: Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Druze can perform marriages, and none offer gay couples the chance to marry.

In May 2012, the Israeli Parliament voted against introducing civil marriage for gay and straight couples.

Earlier this summer, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni officiated a same-sex wedding, despite same-sex marriage ceremonies being illegal in the country.

More: gay couples, Gay rights, Israel, Israel, marriage, Middle East, same sex couples

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