News Brief: Israel to Begin Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage as an Equal Route to Citizenship

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Israel Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage as an Equal Route to Citizenship

News Brief Israel Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage as an Equal Route to Citizenship

News Brief:  Israel to Begin Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage as an Equal Route to Citizenship

The spouses of Israelis who have tied the knot in countries where same-sex marriage is legal may soon be able to claim Israeli citizenship at the same speed as straight couples, following an announcement by the country’s attorney general.

Until now, same-sex spouses were forced to wait up to seven years and would generally only be granted permanent residency rather than citizenship.  The process was far quicker for those in straight marriages.  Now the government’s chief legal advisor, Avichai Mandelblit, has issuned an instruction to Israel’s Interior Ministry to now consider applications under the same terms, according to reports.

The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed in the High Court of Justice by the Gay Fathers Association.  Iris Sheinfeld, a lawyer representing the association, told Israeli newspaper Haaretz she was pleased with the change.  “For married same-sex couples, this is an extraordinary achievement… We still have work to do, but from a fundamental and practical standpoint, we are satisfied.  In addition, this has a lot of influence on surrogacy abroad.”  While gay marriage is still not legal in Israel, same-sex marriages performed abroad are recognized for some purposes.