Main | Friday, December 07, 2012

Israel Sees First Gay Divorce

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Israel, but this week a civil court ended the marriage of a gay couple that had wed in Canada.  Legal experts are flummoxed over what this might portend.  Via Daily Beast:
This week, when a family court near Tel Aviv dissolved the marriage of Uzi Even and Amit Kama, they granted Israel's first gay divorce and, effectively, its first civil divorce as well. And to that, we should all say mazel tov! The gay community cheered the decision as a major step for gay rights, but the ruling may also have implications for the broader cause of civil marriage and, by extension, the unresolved issue of the separation of religion and state in Israel. [snip] So the triumph of this week's ruling was side-stepping the Rabbinate altogether and getting the civil courts to settle the issue.

Practically speaking, this means that gay divorce has preceded gay marriage in Israel, which is kind of comically ironic. The question now is whether this case can be applied to matters of marriage for all couples, regardless of religion or sexuality. Now that a precedent has been set, some legal experts are saying, it may open the door for a heterosexual couple to do the same. And once civil divorce has been achieved, as backwards as it seems, then maybe civil marriage will follow.
The above-linked story notes that the divorce might be vetoed by the Interior Ministry.

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