Monday, May 05, 2008

Israeli Court Rejects Domestic Violence Claim by Same -Sex Partner

Citing Israel's Declaration of Independence, a family court judge has rejected a man's claim of domestic violence and harassment by his same-sex partner because the couple does not fall within the definition of a "legitimate family" in accordance with Jewish law.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Judge Dr. Gershon Garman rejected the plea, reasoning that since the relationship was not originally public, the men were not financially dependent and their relationship seemed to have been based on sex alone, they cannot be defined as a couple.

The judge further ruled that the law does not apply to a same-sex couple since it specifies "a female partner, known to the public as his wife."

The judge additionally claimed that recognition of the man's suit "is contrary to the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish state."

According to the judge, the problem lies in the wording of the law concerning the basic dignity and freedom of man. The first paragraph of the law states that human rights are to be respected according to the principles outlined in the proclamation of the state. The Declaration of Independence mandates "a Jewish state in the land of Israel that will be based on the principles of freedom, justice and peace, in the guiding light of the visions of the prophets of Israel."

The prophets of Israel did not look favorably upon homosexual relationships.

The National Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered in Israel have issued a public statement in response to the ruling calling for the fight of same-sex couples to be treated as equals under Israeli law to continue until the Court recognizes their legal entitlements.

- Annie Noa Kenet, Toronto

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