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Israeli supreme court allows surrogacy for same-sex couples, single men

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Jerusalem   /   Fri, February 28, 2020   /   06:44 am
Israeli supreme court allows surrogacy for same-sex couples, single men For all to see: Same-sex marriage supporters take part in a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride parade after losing in the marriage equality referendum, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on Sunday. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Israel's supreme court on Thursday authorised surrogacy for same-sex couples and single men wishing to have children.

Only heterosexual married couples were able to access surrogacy in Israel until 2018, when a law was passed permitting it for single women or those unable to bear children -- but not for same-sex couples or single men.

"We have won! It's an emotional day when Israel has finally taken a step towards the advanced countries in the world on rights for LGBT people," Julien Bahloul, spokesperson for the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, said in a statement.

Bahloul launched an appeal against the law in 2018.

"We are happy that the supreme court has made this courageous and just decision," he added.

The court said Thursday that parliament "has 12 months to put an end to the discrimination against same-sex couples and single men".

The decision comes just days before a general election in Israel, a country considered a trailblazer for gay rights but where same-sex relationships remain a taboo among religious conservatives.

Parties allied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular ultra-Orthodox groups, are vehemently opposed to allowing surrogacy for LGBT people and single men.

Netanyahu's main rival Benny Gantz, head of the centrist Blue and White party, said that only a government led by him could put forward a law in line with the supreme court decision.