10,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv last week to protest the Israeli government’s declaration that heterosexual couples should be given preference in the adoption process over same-sex couples.
The government revealed their discriminatory policy in the their response to a petition to the High Court of Justice by NIF grantee Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers. Israel’s LGBTQ+ community took particular exception to the position expressed by the Welfare and Justice Ministries that they opposed adoption by same-sex couples because it would place an “additional burden” on the child.
The High Court of Justice has given the government until September 10 to reconsider its policy. Welfare Minister Haim Katz has admitted that his ministry’s response was “badly worded and should not have been said.”
In 2008, Israeli law was amended to allow same-sex couples to adopt children. However, since then, only three same-sex couples succeeded in adopting children out of the 550 that filed requests. Over the same period, more than 1,000 heterosexual couples successfully adopted children in Israel.
Next Thursday, August 3, the annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance will take place with support and financing from NIF. Last year a record 25,000 people attended the event, which was dedicated in memory of 16 year-old Shira Banki who had been murdered at the 2015 Jerusalem March.