Gay Couple Divorces in Israel, First Time in Country’s History

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A court ordered Israel’s ministry of interior to register a gay couple as divorced, setting a new precedent for both straight and gay couples.

Marriage and divorce in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian.

While gay marriage is not legalized in Israel, the country's Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that foreign gay marriages can be registered in Israel, letting same-sex couples enjoy the same rights as straight couples, according to the Associated Press.

A Ramat Gan family court approved on Dec. 2 the request of Uzi Even, a former Israeli member of parliament and professor at Tel Aviv University, and Amit Kama, a professor of communications at Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, to order Israel’s ministry of interior to register them as divorced, JTA reports.

This decision sets a new precedent because “the judge rejected the state's arguments that only the rabbinical courts have the authority to dissolve marriage, and instructed Israel’s interior ministry to register the former lovers as divorced,” according to the Gay Star News.

“From my point of view, even if the state appeals and we have to keep going down this road, the verdict shows the beginning of the undermining of the rabbinate,” Kama told Haaretz daily. “I am very happy that we may have made a breakthrough.”

JTA asserts the gay couple split three years ago, and Even will marry another man.

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