Israel: Supreme Court refuses to recognize same-sex marriage

The High Court of Justice rejected on Thursday a petition by the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association to recognize same-sex marriage.

Justices Elyakim Rubinstein (former deputy to the president), Neal Hendel and Anat Baron rejected the claim that according to interpretations of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, same-sex marriage should be recognized. They said there is no contradiction in the state’s current position regarding this issue. 

The justices added that it is up to the legislators, and not the High Court, to determine this matter.

It was stated in the verdict that because the Israeli law sees the rabbinical courts as the only authority when it comes to Jewish marriage in the country, the appeal is wrong in its basis because the High Court is a civil court, not a rabbinical one.

“Essentially, the petitioners are asking from the court to recognize same-sex marriage via legislation, despite the fact that they are not recognized by Israeli law,” the verdict read. “On the matter of recognizing marriage that was not conducted in accordance to the religious law – including same-sex marriage – it was ruled [by the court] in the past that it is better that the issue be determined by the legislative branch.”

The justices mentioned in the verdict said they are aware of the trend of recognizing same-sex marriage in the West, and that in some countries – like the US – it was done through a Supreme Court decision. However, they stated, in most countries, such as Canada, France, Spain, New Zealand and Sweden, it was done through legislation. Read more via Jerusalem Post