AG pledges to ease citizenship path for gay spouses
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AG pledges to ease citizenship path for gay spouses

Currently, same-sex partners of Israelis married abroad wait seven years for citizenship, while straight spouses wait four

Hundreds of people attend the annual gay pride parade in the southern city of Ashdod on June 17, 2016. (Flash90)
Hundreds of people attend the annual gay pride parade in the southern city of Ashdod on June 17, 2016. (Flash90)

The path to citizenship for gay foreigners who marry Israelis abroad will be brought into line with that for straight spouses from overseas, the Attorney General told the Supreme Court Wednesday, according to Hebrew language media reports.

Straight partners currently undergo a four-year process to gain citizenship, while same-sex partners have a seven-year path to naturalization. Gay people also have to renounce their former citizenship, while heterosexual applicants do not.

Avichai Mandelblit plans to make it a four-year process for all.

“This is a great victory, which ends infuriating discrimination against same-sex couples,” a statement from Proud Fathers, which petitioned the Supreme Court, said.

In October, the government announced it would provide NIS 10 million ($2.5 million) annually over the next two years to various government ministries for initiatives to benefit LGBT Israelis, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

”There’s no doubt that this is a significant milestone on the gay community’s road to living equally in Israel,” said Ohad Hizki, director of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force.

The plan included funding for LGBT support and student groups, anti-discrimination programming and a panel dedicated to approving gender reassignment surgeries at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said at the time that every government ministry would create a position aimed at combating discrimination against the LGBT community.

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