Photo: Reuters
Will Interior Ministry recognize gay marriages?
Photo: Reuters

Gay couples petition High Court

Two homosexual couples who tied the knot in Canada want Interior Ministry to recognize their marriage

JERUSALEM - Two homosexual couples who tied the knot in Canada have petitioned the High Court of Justice over the Interior Ministry’s refusal to recognize their marriage.


The couples want judges to instruct the ministry to register them as same-sex married couples who performed their wedding ceremony abroad.


The two couples, Yossi Ben-Ari and Lorne Shuman who met 20 years ago, and Yosef Bar Lev and Yaron Lahav, who met seven years ago, got married in 2003. The authenticity of their marriage certificates was verified by the Israeli Consul General in Toronto.


However, upon their return to Israel, the Interior Ministry refused their request to be recognized as married couples.


“Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in the State of Israel, and therefore they cannot be registered (as married) in population records,” the ministry said.


'It's a technical matter' 


However, the couples want their marriage to be recorded, just like any wedding that takes place overseas is recognized by the State.


“The principle is equality. We are equal to any other citizen and there is no reason to discriminate against us because of our sexual orientation,” Ben-Ari said.


The petition notes that the Interior Ministry’s refusal conveys the humiliating message that same-sex relationships are not normative.


“It’s not a matter of a moral, normative debate,” Shuman said. “It’s a technical matter.”


Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the couples, Dan Yakir, said he is confident the court would accept the petition, in light of earlier decisions that granted same-sex couples additional rights.


פרסום ראשון: 03.28.05, 14:37
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