Israel adds $5 million in funding for LGBT community
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Israel adds $5 million in funding for LGBT community

New allocations hailed by activists as ‘a significant milestone on the gay community’s road to living equally in Israel’

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)

Israel has added more than $5 million over the next two years to address the needs of the LGBT community after an earlier government funding proposal drew criticism.

The government will provide NIS 10 million (approximately $2.64 million) annually over the next two years to various government ministries for initiatives that will benefit LGBT Israelis, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Wednesday, according to Haaretz.

”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, according to Haaretz.

In April, LGBT activists slammed an initiative by the Tourism Ministry to spend NIS 11 million (approximately $2.90 million) to increase gay tourism to the country, while the government allocated NIS 1.5 million ($396,000) to LGBT groups. LGBT leaders called on the government to increase spending to benefit their community.

The plan announced Wednesday includes 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.

Kahlon also said every government ministry will create a position aimed at combating discrimination against the LGBT community.

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