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Tel Aviv declares same-sex unions will be recognised in Pride Month ‘challenge’ to Israeli government

Lily Wakefield June 23, 2020
Israeli Pride tel aviv

Israeli drag queens and go-go dancers dance on a truck during the annual gay pride parade in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on June 13, 2014. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty)

Tel Aviv has “challenged” the Israeli government by announcing that the city will recognise same-sex couples.

While Israel recognises same-sex unions and marriages performed abroad, same-sex couples are not permitted to wed within the country.

However the Tel Aviv municipality announced on June 21 that it will establish a registry which any couple can join if they are living together to access all benefits already provided to married couples, according to Haaretz.

Same-sex couples will be able to get discounts on property taxes, community centres, municipal leisure and cultural facilities and registering their children at preschools.

The municipal registry will also extend these benefits to couples who do not want to be married in the rabbinate and couples of different religions, who currently cannot get married in Israel.

Tel Aviv to give same-sex couples legal rights.

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai said: “In honour of gay Pride week, we decided to challenge the government and enable partnership registration based on a declaration.”

City council member Etai Pinkas-Arad, who initiated the couples registry, added: “The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is now clearly saying that equality is a basic municipal value, and is adding a service of municipal partnership registration, which means that all the couples in the city are of equal value and have equal rights.”

Huldai has long been a supporter of the LGBT+ comunity in Israel, and has vowed to “smash down legislative barriers until there is full equality”.

In 2013, he helped the city erect a monument in the honour of gay victims of the Holocaust, the first of its kind in the country.

Earlier this year, the mayor supported schools in Tel Aviv starting their day by teaching 15-minute classes on “tolerance, living together and variations on the concept of family” after Israel’s education minister publicly said that being gay was not “natural”.

More: Etai Pinkas-Arad, Israel, mayor, municipal registry, partnerships, Pride, ron huldai, same sex couples, Tel Aviv

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