Shalom Life | January 31, 2015

Israel Grants Citizenship to Same-Sex Spouses of Jews

A change to the Law of Return now offers the same citizenship rights to gay couples as heterosexual couples

By: Daniel Koren

Published: August 12th, 2014 in News » Israel

Israel Grants Citizenship to Same-Sex Spouses of Jews

The State of Israel has made a historical change to the Law of Return, granting the same citizenship rights to homosexual couples that heterosexual couples currently enjoy.

As announced by Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, the Law of Return now applies to spouses of gay and lesbian Jews who immigrate to Israel with their partner. Whether or not the spouse is Jewish or not is irrelevant, as, according to Sa'ar and Israel's Population and Immigration Administration, "Israel's doors will be open to every Jew and his family, without any discrimination against his lifestyle."

The new change applies to those individuals looking to make aliyah, and aren't already citizens of Israel. The change, as Ynet reports, is a "liberal interpretation" of an amendment first made in 1970.

Sa'ars decision is a historical one for Israel. It will allow, for the first time, a Jew in a same-sex marriage who is legally married to make aliyah to Israel with his/her spouse, regardless if the spouse is Jewish or not.

Both will enjoy full rights in the country as citizens.

As stated by the Law of Return:

4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

Sa'ar said that his decision came as a result of the issue being raised in many recent immigration applications to the Interior Ministry. In the statement marking his decision, he wrote that "the point of the Law of Return is an ingathering of the Jewish people from exile, and the purpose of the 1970 amendment was to enable the family of a Jewish person to come to Israel as an equal to him, in order to encourage immigration."

He continued. "I do not see any reason to distinguish between Jews who had a heterosexual marriage and Jews who had a same-sex marriage abroad, according to the law. Both meet the requirements of the Law of Return, from the perspective of 'and the sons have returned.'"

Israel, particularly Tel Aviv, is known for its thriving gay culture and nightlife.

55,000-Year-Old Skull Discovered in Israel Sheds Light on First Humans in Europe 55,000-Year-Old Skull Discovered in Israel Sheds Light on First Humans in Europe Trending Getting anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations Getting anti-Semitism Wrong at the United Nations TrendingThousands Arrive at Funerals for Soldiers Killed in Hezbollah Attack Thousands Arrive at Funerals for Soldiers Killed in Hezbollah Attack Trending
 

Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

January 30, 2015 | By Viva Sarah Press
Israeli Startups Collectively Raised Over $900 Million Last Week

Various startups in Israel raised $910 million through acquisitions and funding rounds in a seven-day period

Read More

Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Woody Allen’s Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer is Called ‘Irrational Man’

Sony Pictures Classics have announced the name of Allen's upcoming film.

Read More

Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Steven Spielberg’s Daughter, Sasha, to Star in Snapchat Web Series

Spielberg will co-star with John Goldwyn's daughter, Emily.

Read More

Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

January 30, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Roseanne Barr on Bill Cosby:” It Surprises Nobody”

The comedian believes Cosby should apologize.

Read More

Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

January 30, 2015 | By Jason Stverak, JNS.org
Remembering Myra Kraft on Super Bowl Sunday

What will be missing for the second time in recent New England Patriots' Super Bowl memory this Sunday is Myra Kraft sitting with her husband, owner Robert Kraft

Read More

Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

January 30, 2015 | By Hassan Shaalan
Wounded Syrians Treated in Israel: Eliminate Hezbollah

"We were taught that Israel is the enemy of Syria and all Arab countries. Now that I stayed here, I believe the opposite is true; Israel is better than other Arab countries, which don't admit wounded people," says one injured Syrian

Read More

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

January 30, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall Of Fame: Kenny Bernstein

The famous "King of Speed" is known as one of the most important figures in NASCAR history

Read More

Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

January 30, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Postcard from Einstein's Sole Trip to Israel Sells At Auction

Almost a century after the physicist's trip to the Holy Land, postcard sells for $56,000

Read More

More Headlines