The Tel Aviv Family Court ruled on Thursday that a prenuptial agreement signed between two lesbian partners was a valid legal contract. Presiding Judge Paul Streck clarified however that his ruling does not ratify the couple's marriage as legally valid.
The plaintiffs, whose names have been withheld from the press, asked the court to authorize a prenuptial agreement signed between the two of them.
The women asked the court to extend the term 'family member' to include same-sex partners and therefore sought to validate their prenup.
Judge Streck acknowledged the advances made regarding same-sex rights over the past decades in his ruling: "Since 1992 there have been many upheavals in the interpretation of the term 'partnership' in regards to the gay community. There is a feeling that as time goes by changes in society have shifted to a higher gear."
Streck also wrote that Israel, like many other countries in the world, is "moving towards recognition of equality; from the legislation of the Basic Law for Human Dignity and Liberty (passed in 1992), respecting a man, whoever he may be and whatever his sexual orientation might be, as an ordinary man."
The Judge noted in his ruling that the court's authorization is essentially superfluous but that given that the true purpose of the petition is to advance the recognition of same-sex couples the court will ratify the prenuptial agreement but this does not implicate that the plaintiffs are now legally wed.
Streck added that in Israel, as in the US, the court-system adamantly rejects having to enter the public debate regarding what constitutes a marriage, but that the court does have a duty to uphold equality before the state authorities.