Project Description

When we see photographs of Pride in Tel Aviv, we see a vibrant city in support of the LGBT community. We read how Israel is the Eden of LGBT life in the Middle East. Although it’s easy to see Tel Aviv as a safe haven for LGBT people, it’s important to be aware of the inequalities present in Israel if you’re an LGBT person in terms of starting a family and adopting a child.

Alicia Ronay recently saw the suffering of in an Israeli couple who used a surrogate in Tabasco, Mexico. This part of Mexico has had legalized surrogacy since 1990, but a new law came into effect that qualifies the legality only for married Mexican couples who have medically proven problems with fertility. This situation caused 15 foreign couples to be in a state of limbo. The new parents had to go to court, a slow and expensive process.

Guimel, an LGBT Jewish organization in Mexico that is a member of the World Congress of GLBT Jews, contacted the Israeli embassy about this situation. With the counsel of Alon Lavi, the organization gave accommodation to the parents in the houses of their members while the couples worked through issues with legality.

We can understand the difficult paths that some people are forced to walk in order to become parents and have a family in home countries that deny them the right. We see again with great sadness how Netanyahu’s government comes closer to orthodox groups whose agenda is to divide local and global Jewish community.

Thousands of people protested the new LGBT adoption ban in Tel Aviv, exclaiming that they want, “Equality! Equality in rights! Total equality and nothing less!” While this law prohibiting adoption to LGBT people is an attempt to divide, we must respond that we are one as the Jewish people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and we must all be allowed the same rights in the state of Israel.

Chen Arieli of Aguda in Israel’s said: “Tell the prime minister, the ministers and members of the Knesset: we are not here just so you can tell the world that we are an enlightened country and that 30,000 tourists have something to do with June.” In this comment, he criticized the Israeli government for parading the LGBT population around to prove Israel as an enlighten country in June, and then denying them basic dignity in August.

Several famous spokesmen have begun asking young people in the LGBT community to protest the ban by participating in military service and stop paying taxes.

In response to the discontent of the LGBT community and some distinguished politicians, the Superior Court of Justice gave the government two months to reconsider and re-examine the matter, asking in turn to seek more opinions.

Oded KatzmanTreasurer
Oded lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. Oded was the treasurer and a board member of the Aguda, an LGBTQ organization in Israel, for five years. Oded is an expert in the Tel Aviv real estate market. He sees the world becoming more open, but believes we still need to fight against antisemitism, homophobia, and transphobia to achieve the full rights of other populations. He feels it is very important to have a presence in Israel in order to continue the struggle for full LGBTQ equality there.

This article was compiled by Alicia Ronay and edited by Gabrielle Kirsch.