Israel allows gays to conceive children through surrogates

Israel allows gays to conceive children through surrogates

Jerusalem : Israel | May 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM PDT
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Following US President Barack Obama's announcement of his support for gay marriages in the United States, a committee constituted by Israel’s Health Ministry also announced on Sunday that gays could have their children through surrogate mothers. The committee was formed two years ago to examine birth and fertility policies.

According to recommendations of the committee, now the gay men can have children through surrogate mothers, while single women through married women by allowing them to serve as their surrogates. The decision is being termed to be historic and hailed by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Israel. Married men and women will also be able to undergo fertility treatment with people other than their spouses without notifying them. One can also obtain sperm donation and children of such anonymous donations can learn identity of the donor at the age of 18.

Earlier, the LGBT community of Israel appreciated support of President Barack Obama for same-sex marriages and demanded the same from their own government. Obama expressed his willingness to legalize same-sex marriages during a television interview. The LGBT community of Israel was, however, disappointed after getting official response of their government. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said two weeks back that Israeli government was not likely to accept LGBT couples’ marriages in the foreseeable future. This was what shattered dreams of the LGBT community.

The community in Israel was expecting approval of their rights from the government after President Obama had expressed his willingness to legalize LGBT couples’ marriages in the country. It is pertinent to mention here that some of the US states have already passed legislation in favor of the LGBT communities and allowed them the right to marry. The issue, however, is still being debated in the country. There are also reports that some religious leaders including pastors are planning to protest against the president’s decision, as they deem same-sex marriages against teachings of religion.

The finance minister of Israel held a meeting with the LGBT community but failed to assure them any solid support for their cause. He said he understands the issue better than he used to but that does not mean that he would vote for approval of same-sex marriages in the country. Despite a formal request from the community members, the minister failed to ensure his presence at the Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade. Around 25 members of the community have held a detailed meeting with the minister on the issue but failed to garner a needed support from him.

However, the LGBT community hailed the minister for being the first one to hold a detailed meeting with representatives of the community. They are hopeful to garner support of the government for their rights, as civilized societies are increasingly according support to the community. It is a fact now across the globe and cannot be denied. Now if the recommendations of the committee are implemented in letter and spirit, Israel will be one of the most progressive countries in the world in this field.

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File photo of a gay marriage supporter with a sign  at the 41st LGBT Pride parade in San Francisco
File photo of a gay marriage supporter with a sign at the 41st LGBT Pride parade in San Francisco
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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