Fighting Transphobia in the Religious Sector

9 February 2023

On January 30th, a district judge dismissed a petition from parents in a religious school in Givat Shmuel that would have required a religious transgender child to wear a dress instead of a kippa and tzitzit. The judge also required the petitioners pay the court fees of the child and his family. This ruling demonstrates the importance of a strong and independent judiciary capable of protecting the rights of persecuted minorities from extremist groups.

Havruta, the organization for religious Jewish LGBTQ+ people in Israel, filed an additional court petition against the decision by the Ministry of Education to remove the transgender child from his current school. Concurrently, Havruta is facing a SLAPP lawsuit aimed at silencing them. The suit is being brought by opponents of trans rights for alleged defamation.

Havruta said, “We want to make it clear to the lobby of hatred that after its stinging defeat by the court this week, we will continue to work to ensure the wellbeing of the child. We will continue to tell the truth. We will not be cowed by lawsuits that seek to silence us. We survived Pharoah and, with the help of God, we will survive this.”