Encouraged by President Barack Obama's words on Wednesday, in which he declared his belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in Israel is hoping that Israeli leaders will take a similar position on the issue, which will allow thousands in the community to get married.
"Israel preceded the US in recognizing same-sex marriages performed abroad," said former MK Prof. Uzi Even, who was the first openly gay lawmaker in Israel.
- Obama says same sex couples should be able to marry
'Vatican seeking religious alliance to combat gay marriage'
Rabbis withdraw support for gay marriage
"Maybe the newly-formed unity government will settle the issue, allowing Israel to become like one of the other progressive European countries," said Even.
Dr. Gal Wagner Kolasko who runs the LGBT health clinic in Tel Aviv said he believes that the same-sex marriage issue will only be resolved through the judicial system. "Unfortunately, the law in Israel only permits religious marriage and not a civil one," he said.
"The current political balance of power is not one where this kind of issue has much of a chance. That is why we hope the judicial system will work towards permitting same-sex marriage in Israel. The 'new kind of family' already exists, and it's time for it to be officially recognized," he exclaimed.
Prof. Esther Hertzog, an anthropologist from the Beit Berl Academic College, said that same-sex marriage is "a necessity in a modern and progressive country such as Israel."
President Obama's statement marked a shift in his evolving position on the issue that is likely to please his political base and upset conservatives.
"It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama said in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop