Court grants Israel gay couple divorce for first time

An Israeli court has granted a divorce of a gay couple for the first time in the country's history

Court grants Israel gay couple divorce for first time
03 December 2012

A court has ordered the ministry of interior of Israel to register a gay couple as divorced after it continually rejected their requests.

Yesterday (2 November) a Ramat Gan family court approved the request of Uzi Even, a former Israeli member of parliament and professor at Tel Aviv University, and Amit Kama, who teaches communications at Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, to order Israel’s ministry of interior to register them as divorced.

Haaretz daily reported that the former couple were married in Canada over eight years ago, while marriage proceedings are open to any national, divorce is only reserved for Canadian nationals.

Marriage and divorce in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian.

The former couple had no choice but to appeal to the Jewish court (rabbinical) which is vehemently opposed to gay issues, and simply ignored their repeated requests to open divorce proceedings.

They then appealed to the family court in the city of Ramat Gan against Israel’s ministry of interior, which claimed the rabbinical court was not given ‘enough time’.

The judge rejected the state’s arguments that only the rabbinical courts have the authority to dissolve marriage, and instructed Israel’s interior ministry to register the former lovers as divorced.

Judge Yehezkel Eliyue said he based his decision on a previous ruling of Israel’s high court of justice’s instruction to the state to register the marriages of five same-sex couples who were married Canada.

The court ruled: ‘Once the High Court of Justice ordered the registration of the marriage, the possibility cannot be considered that petitioners who have agreed to end their marriage should remain tied to each other.

‘This runs contrary to the rights and liberties of the individual; it goes against Basic Laws and the basic values of justice and equality’.

The judge further stated: ‘Under these circumstances the rabbinic court lacks the authority to hear the petition, and in any case is not the proper forum to discuss it’.

This is a legal breakthrough in Israel as it sets a legal precedent for both gay and straight couples who want to divorce after they got married in a civil court abroad.

Kama told Haaretz daily: ‘From my point of view, even if the state appeals and we have to keep going down this road, the verdict shows the beginning of the undermining of the rabbinate.

‘I am very happy that we may have made a breakthrough’, he said, adding that the decision could affect not only other same-sex couples but also straight couples.



No thumbnail available

Pinewood Studios backs British LGBTI short films

Legendary studio will help the filmmaker behind an LGBTI short with post-production on their next project
No thumbnail available

Manhunt underway in second NY anti-gay assault in one week

Police are on the lookout for three more suspects after two were arrested in the second NY gay bashing in five days 
No thumbnail available

Sorry: Stephen Fry Tweet crashes GSN site

We are sorry, Gay Star News’ latest celeb endorsement sent our server into meltdown
No thumbnail available

How will France's gay marriage law affect French Polynesia?

Australian radio show investigates how gay marriage law will affect French overseas collectivity, French Polynesia
No thumbnail available

Rosie O'Donnell calls Kirk Cameron 'un-Christ-like'

Advises Cameron not to 'shame' gays of he wants to follow Jesus model
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Matt Bomer and Glee cast help raise more than $600,000 for Family Equality Council

Star-studded dinner in LA hosted by Sandra Berhnard also drew Patti LuPpone, Andrew Rannells and Sarah Paulson
No thumbnail available

Grindr gets brand new look for summer

New update features ultra-big profile pics and allows you to see how long it will take to travel to meet your new guy
No thumbnail available

Bisexual women twice as likely to be abused as straight or lesbian women

A new US study finds that bisexual women have a higher prevalence rate of rape and sexual violence when compared to lesbian and straight women
No thumbnail available

7 winter wonderlands we want to spend Christmas in

We're dreaming of a white – and largely Scandinavian – Christmas