In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that same-sex couples and single men be given access to domestic surrogacy services.
The ruling appears to be a criticism of the current surrogacy law that excludes same-sex couples and single men, who cannot use the services of a surrogate mother to become parents in Israel.
The five-justice panel declared that the current arrangements within the Embryo Carrying Agreements Law disproportionately "harms the right to equality" and the right of parenthood of these groups, and are therefore illegal.
Following a 4 to 1 vote, the court gave the state a maximum of 12 months to amend the current legislation.
Justice Uzi Vogelman wrote in his verdict the current Surrogacy Law inherently discriminates not only against LGBT community but against the concept of fatherhood as well.
“The current arrangement echoes the deep social construct that motherhood is preferable to fatherhood, and that a family made up of a male and female or only a female is much more 'preferred,' 'deserving' and 'accepted' than the more complicated forms [of family],” he wrote.
“This is a harmful message on the part of the administration, disregarding the basic duty of the state to respect all forms of life and all family units."
Itai and Yoav Finks Arad of the Association of Gay Fathers, who filed the petition with the Supreme Court, praised the decision. "This is a dramatic and emotional day in which Israel finally takes a step toward the policies of progressive countries in the world when it comes LGBT rights."
Agudah, Israel's leading LGBT group, also hailed the ruling saying that it was “a historic victory for the gay community.”
“This historic decision is another incredible milestone in our fight for equal rights.”
In July 2018, the Knesset plenum approved the current Surrogacy Law that allows single women and heterosexual couples to become parents via surrogacy using domestic services.
Approval of the law led to mass protests by the LGBT community, joined by many private sector companies.
On July 22, 2018, some 80,000 people came to the LGBT rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, which was a culmination of a series of protests against discriminatory policies targeting the gay community in Israel.
Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for surrogacy for single parent males, the law was never amended.