THOUSANDS IN PROTEST AGAINST SURROGACY BILL’S EXCLUSION OF GAY COUPLES

Fed up with discrimination, the LGBTQ community in Israel marched this Saturday evening in Tel Aviv to demand equality for all | "What you take away from us, we shall retake it with fight"
צילום: גיא כהן
Photo: Guy Cohen

Roughly 3,000 people came to protest near the government offices in Tel Aviv, demanding equal parenting rights for members of the gay community.

Fed up with discrimination, the LGBTQ community in Israel marched this Saturday evening in Tel Aviv to demand equality for all. Organized by the AGUDA (Israel’s LGBT Task Force), in order put pressure on lawmakers to reject this anti-gay surrogacy law.

Chairman of the AGUDA, Chen Arieli, opened the protest with the words: “We must take all our emotions, all our disagreements, all the criticism, all the despair, and turn it into a powerful civic force which is no longer willing to hear ‘No’ as an answer! They are fighting and pushing against us. It may take 20 years – but even the children of the homophobic parliament members will eventually live in a world in which they are surrounded by LGBT people. We’re here to say – we’re not going anywhere, and we are going to change this reality once and for all. Today, we say ‘Yes’ to a country which we’d like to see, and in which we’d like to live in!”

Chen Arieli | Photo: Guy Cohen

Itai pinkas-Arad, one of the petitioners in the High-Court case for surrogacy, addressed Prime-Minister Netanyahu and the Minister of Health in his speech: “Justice is not on your side, and neither are the people. You’ve just added yourselves to the infamous list of leaders who betrayed their most basic obligation to their people – and went on to make discriminatory laws consciously and openly. We won’t let you switch out the old discrimination for a new one that is worse. What you take away from us, we shall retake it with fight, and what you refuse to give us – we shall fight to take”.

Refuse to finance the State of Israel

Israel’s LGBTQ communities have also launched multiple social media campaigns. The slogan, “how much no can we take, it’s time to tell us yes,” is going viral.  LGBTQ families publishing their stories about their LGBTQ families, to show the Israeli government the strength in numbers, and to make visible a community not always taking into consideration.

In addition to the online campaigns and the protest, additional voices are heard, who wish to take the protest up to the state.

One of them is CPA Oshik Kraus, who sent a letter to the Assessment Officer in which he notified of his intentions to refuse paying advances on income tax for 2018 due to discrimination.

“Our decision is due to an ever-increasing deterioration in the inequality of rights of the Israeli LGBT community”, the letter stated. “Therefore, and such as that a large portion of our company’s income comes from clients who are members of this community, we’ve decided that we would refuse funding to the State of Israel until we are again considered equals among equals”.

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