July 16, 2018

Israel Knesset New Surrogacy Bill Excludes Gays

 Thousands Protest Knesset's surrogacy bill on Saturday night in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: SHIRA LEVRON)

Several thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against a looming bill on surrogacy that, if passed, would exclude gay couples.

The bill, which is expected to pass into law in its final readings at the Knesset on Monday, updates current legislation that only grants state-supported surrogacy for married heterosexual couples, by expanding the eligibility to single women. 

But it still leaves out gay couples.

Hen Arieli, the chairman of the LGBTQ Association opened her speech with a message to the South, at the end of a day in which Gaza border communities had been pounded by projectiles from Gaza.
“Our heart is with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers in the Gaza perimeter and in the IDF,” she said. “We are holding the demonstration to make our voices heard because the discrimination applies equally to all of us, and now that they are carrying the security burden, it is our duty to bear the burden of protest and struggle for them.”

“According to the prime minister’s fluent English we are in an LGBTQ paradise, but in reality, our lives do not allow us to marry, we are not allowed to have children, and if we have already succeeded, we are overwhelmed by unnecessary difficulties. There is a limit to how much ‘no’ we can hear and we will not remain silent until the discrimination ends,” Arieli added.

Oded Fried, the LGBTQ community’s representative in the Knesset, said: “If there was a law that states that only women born in Israel can be mothers or a law that couples of settlers are forbidden to establish a family, no one would remain silent and hide behind excuses like coalition discipline. Whoever votes in favor of the surrogacy law this week – this is a vote against us. And we will not sit quietly while legislators make laws against us and trample on our basic rights."

Appeared on the Jerusalem Post

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