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January 20, 2015

Supreme Court rules in favor of two non-operative transgender women

Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.

The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.

A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.

January 10, 2015

Justices met privately Friday to discuss cases including marriage equality cases out of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

The US Supreme Court met in conference on Friday (9 January) to discuss upcoming cases but made no announcement about whether or not it will hear any challenges to gay marriage cases in five states.

The high court is considering hearing cases filed in Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

The justices declined to take on any same-sex marriage cases last year in which defendants appealed circuit court of appeals rulings upholding the striking down of marriage bans.

January 8, 2015

Stylist is barred from both the male and female sections of the holy site

A transgender woman Monday (5 January) was barred from both the male and female sections of the Western Wall in Israel, the country with the most progressive trans policies in the Middle East.

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a 'modesty volunteer' who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men's area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

January 1, 2015

After 6 years in the Knesset, Meretz party MK Nitzan Horowitz has announced he does not intend to stand again – meaning there may no longer be an openly LGBTI person in the Israeli parliament once again

Meretz party lawmaker Nitzan Horowitz, only the second openly gay member of the Israeli Knesset, has announced his plans to retire from politics after 6 years as an MK.

Horowitz announced his departure on Facebook yesterday, writing that it had been an ‘easy decision’ for him to make.

‘After deep deliberation I have decided not to compete to be in the next Knesset for Meretz,’ Horowitz wrote.

December 24, 2014

The annual conference for gay men who may be considering surrogacy returns to San Francisco on 10 January 2015

Interested in becoming a parent through surrogacy? Live on or near the west coast of the USA?

Men Having Babies have teamed up with Our Family Coalition to host a joint parenthood conference on Saturday 10 January in San Francisco.

The Men Having Babies expos – which take place regularly in the US, Israel and Europe – offer unbiased and comprehensive information for gay men, and anyone else, who is considering surrogacy as a route to parenthood.

November 24, 2014

Israeli city to host two-week queer party, launching next month

Tel Aviv has announced a two-week 'Pink Winter' Festival for the festive period, taking place between 24 December and 7 January.

The event will encompass non-stop street parties and beach parties (including a chill-out party at Hilton Beach), as well as a queer film festival.

Christmas tree and Hanukkah candle lightings will also take place on Christmas Eve, to mark the official launch of the festival.

October 29, 2014

Religious politicians say the 'morally depraved' law will 'destroy the family'

A bill that would allow LGBTI people to have children through surrogates passed its first reading in the Israeli parliament late Monday as more gay couples travel abroad to use foreign surrogates.

The bill to amend the Surrogacy Law 1996 passed by 55 votes to 15. Three members of the Knesset abstained.

October 29, 2014

Religious politicians say the 'morally depraved' law will 'destroy the family'

A bill that would allow LGBTI people to have children through surrogates passed its first reading in the Israeli parliament late Monday as more gay couples travel abroad to use foreign surrogates.

The bill to amend the Surrogacy Law 1996 passed by 55 votes to 15. Three members of the Knesset abstained.

September 30, 2014

The Iris Prize Festival 2014 will feature the work of the world's best LGBTI filmmakers

LGBTI film lovers are excited as the Iris Prize is set to begin next week.

The world's finest LGBTI filmmakers will gather in Cardiff for the seventh time, welcoming guests from US, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Israel, France and many more.

'It is bigger and better than ever before, with the number of feature length movies doubled to 16,' festivla chair Andrew Pierce said.

'I always think of Iris as family. Granted a rather bigger family today than we knew back in 2007 when the world’s finest LGBT filmmakers gathered in Cardiff for the first time.

September 8, 2014

Conservative Judaism, also known as the Masorti Movement, has ordained its first openly gay rabbi, British born Mikie Goldstein, who will lead the Adat Shalom Emanuel synagogue in Israel

The Conservative Judaism Jewish denomination has ordained its first openly gay rabbi two years after clearing the way for gay and lesbian Jews to serve as religious leaders.

British born Mikie Goldstein, 49, became the first openly gay man to become a Conservative Jewish rabbi after finishing his studies for the rabbinate earlier this year at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Last week he was installed as rabbi at the Adat Shalom Emanuel Synagogue in the city of Rehovot in Israel.

August 13, 2014

Israel’s Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has announced that gay and lesbian Jews will be allowed to bring their spouses with them when they immigrate to Israel – even if their spouse is not Jewish

Jews in same-sex marriages will be allowed to bring their partners with them when they immigrate to Israel as the government extends it’s ‘right of return’ policy whereby all Jews are welcome to move to Israel to cover gays and lesbians.

‘The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle,’ Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Tuesday, according to Arutz Sheva.

August 13, 2014

Israel’s Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has announced that gay and lesbian Jews will be allowed to bring their spouses with them when they immigrate to Israel – even if their spouse is not Jewish

Jews in same-sex marriages will be allowed to bring their partners with them when they immigrate to Israel as the government extends it’s ‘right of return’ policy whereby all Jews are welcome to move to Israel to cover gays and lesbians.

‘The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle,’ Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Tuesday, according to Arutz Sheva.

July 25, 2014

Some of our greatest LGBTI citizens have sharply different approaches to conflict between Israel and Palestine

A protest rally in Boston around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saw members of the LGBTI community at each other’s throats.

It proved we’re not a monolith when it comes to passion and politics, and demonstrated how LGBTIs are inextricably tied to world events.

‘You’re a traitor to your people,’ Malkah Feldman of Cambridge shouted in a heated exchange with a Jewish Zionist protester at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Boston Public Library that the Boston Herald captured both in a photo and on video.

June 29, 2014

Shai Piron says he is ‘truly sorry’ for his previous comments saying gay families are not proper families in his eyes

Israel’s Education Minister has apologized for offending gay families, after a comment saying same-sex couples are not proper families.

On 26 June, Shai Piron made the comments in an interview with news website INN.

‘I think it’s a Jewish state’s right, maybe even its duty, to say to same-sex couples who decide to live their lives together—that’s not a family,’ he said.

June 13, 2014

To mark gay pride in Tel Aviv, the British Embassy is flying the gay pride flag to show their support

The British Embassy in Israel is flying the gay pride flag to celebrate gay pride today (13 June).

On their official Facebook page, The British Embassy in Israel shared a photo of a rainbow flag flying proudly outside their Tel Aviv headquarters.

‘We are proud that the rainbow flag is flying from the British Embassy, in celebration of the Tel Aviv Pride Parade. #tlv #Gaypride #TelAviv,’ read their post.

In addition, they also changed their cover photo to a picture of the British flag in rainbow colours.

June 6, 2014

Israeli Justice Minister officiated over the wedding of a gay couple on Monday but was sad that their marriage will not be legally recognized

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni acted as a civil celebrant for the wedding of gay couple Tsach Sa'ar and Guy Arad on Monday despite Israel's ban on same-sex marriage.

The couple had a Jewish style wedding which included the tradition of breaking two glasses together and a chuppah – a traditional wedding canopy.

Livni posted a photo of herself at her own wedding next to a photo of the couple at their wedding to Facebook on Tuesday to make public her role in it, adding, ‘I was under the chuppah 30 years ago and yesterday.’

June 6, 2014

Israeli Justice Minister officiated over the wedding of a gay couple on Monday but was sad that their marriage will not be legally recognized

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni acted as a civil celebrant for the wedding of gay couple Tsach Sa'ar and Guy Arad on Monday despite Israel's ban on same-sex marriage.

The couple had a Jewish style wedding which included the tradition of breaking two glasses together and a chuppah – a traditional wedding canopy.

Livni posted a photo of herself at her own wedding next to a photo of the couple at their wedding to Facebook on Tuesday to make public her role in it, adding, ‘I was under the chuppah 30 years ago and yesterday.’

May 17, 2014

Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel said renting to a lesbian couple should be avoided - but if not, renting to just one is acceptable

An Israeli Rabbi has warned landlords of renting to lesbians – saying it is only acceptable to rent property to one, not a couple.

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, chief rabbi of Ramat Gan, Israel, was responding to a question on a website.

The website Yeshiva has a section called Ask the Rabbi, where users can get answers on difficult subjects from their religious leaders.

When one user asked about renting his property to a lesbian couple, Ariel responded he should avoid doing so, but if he has to, only one of the lesbians should be the renter.

May 12, 2014

Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is moving forward with a bill to include same-sex couples under Israel’s inheritance laws which currently only cover opposite-sex couples

An Israeli Government Ministerial Committee approved legislation to amend Israel’s laws covering inheritance to include same-sex couples on Sunday while the governing coalition parties continue to be divided over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Currently Israel’s inheritance laws make mention of only ‘a man and a woman who live as a family in a joint household.’

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s proposal will amend that to read ‘a couple living as a family in a joint household.’

February 28, 2014

The Palestinian and Israeli problem as highlighted by a new dragged-up theater show

It just so happened the person supposed to attend Ballad of the Burning Star with yours truly had a pre-show panic attack at London’s Old Street tube station. It was rush hour and they’re not used to public transport.

Sympathetic to a variety of mental health issues, I sent them home with a suggestion they should drink some wine and lie down. I then called another friend, who happens to be a Greek Orthodox priest. Could he get to Battersea Arts Centre in 30 minutes? Yes, he could. Amen, sister.

February 28, 2014

The Palestinian and Israeli problem as highlighted by a new dragged-up theater show

It just so happened the person supposed to attend Ballad of the Burning Star with yours truly had a pre-show panic attack at London’s Old Street tube station. It was rush hour and they’re not used to public transport.

Sympathetic to a variety of mental health issues, I sent them home with a suggestion they should drink some wine and lie down. I then called another friend, who happens to be a Greek Orthodox priest. Could he get to Battersea Arts Centre in 30 minutes? Yes, he could. Amen, sister.

January 27, 2014

Israel’s Health Ministry has put forward a proposal to allow same-sex couples access to surrogacy in Israel while 65 babies born to surrogates in Thailand will begin to join their gay parents in Israel

Israel’s Health Ministry has advised its parliament that it intends to put forward a proposal so that Israeli same-sex couples no longer have to travel overseas to access surrogacy.

The proposal, announced Sunday to the Knesset Interior Committee, comes after 65 babies born to surrogate mothers in Thailand were blocked from returning to Israel with their gay Israeli fathers after Thailand placed a moratorium on non-Thais seeking surrogacy services.

January 20, 2014

65 surrogate children of Israeli gay couples are stuck in Thailand while the Government of Israel refuses to grant them Israeli citizenship

Supporters of the gay parents of 65 surrogate babies who have been born or are due to be born to Thai surrogate mothers have launch a week of protest actions this week to protest the Israeli Government’s refusal to grant the children Israeli citizenship.

Thai law grants children born to Thai women automatic Thai citizenship. However in order for the babies to leave Thailand they must be made Israeli citizens and Israeli law requires a paternity test before that can occur.

January 20, 2014

65 surrogate children of Israeli gay couples are stuck in Thailand while the Government of Israel refuses to grant them Israeli citizenship

Supporters of the gay parents of 65 surrogate babies who have been born or are due to be born to Thai surrogate mothers have launch a week of protest actions this week to protest the Israeli Government’s refusal to grant the children Israeli citizenship.

Thai law grants children born to Thai women automatic Thai citizenship. However in order for the babies to leave Thailand they must be made Israeli citizens and Israeli law requires a paternity test before that can occur.