Israel announces $5 million in funding for LGBT community
Israel has added more than $5 million to a fund set up to address the needs of the LGBT community.
The money will be provided to various government ministries for initiatives set up to benefit LGBT Israelis. It will be stretched over the period of the next two years.
The announcement comes after LGBT activists accused Israel of ‘pinkwashing’ to attract tourists while neglecting LGBT groups when they planed to use $2.9 million to increase gay tourism in the country, but just $396,000 was awarded to LGBT groups.
The plan, which was announced on Wednesday, will see funding injected into LGBT support groups, student groups, anti-discrimination programming and a panel dedicated to approving gender reassignment surgeries.
A position will also be created within every government ministry that intends to combat discrimination against the LGBT community.
A recent poll in Israel revealed the 76% of Israeli’s support same sex marriage in the country.
Public support for same-sex marriages has increased significantly from 64% in September last year.
Although Israel is considered one of the more progressive countries in the Middle East, tolerance for LGBT people has shrunk to a small area surrounding Tel Aviv. Last year, a 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death by an ultra Orthodox man in Jerusalem’s Pride parade.
In July, a Pride event in the city of Beersheba has been cancelled after security concerns were raised. Police said there was a threat of life-threatening violence at the event, and that participants might be forced to use violent measures to protect themselves.