ISRAEL: “Law Of Return” Citizenship Granted To Non-Jewish Gay Spouses

Via the Times Of Israel:

In a ground-breaking interpretation of the Law of Return, the Interior Ministry decided to permit non-Jewish same-sex marriage partners of Jews living abroad to immigrate to Israel and be granted Israeli citizenship, the ministry announced on Tuesday. According to the Law of Return, any Jew has the right to apply for, and be granted, Israeli citizenship. The right is extended under the law to the applicant’s partner by marriage as well. The right, however, was previously reserved only for heterosexual couples. “The gates of Israel will from now on be open to any Jew and his family, without discrimination based on his way of life,” Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said in a statement. In Israel itself, marriage services for Jews are controlled by the state rabbinate, which does not perform same-sex marriages; nor is there any option of civil marriage for Jews.

More from Shalom Life:

[Minister] Sa’ar said that his decision came as a result of the issue being raised in many recent immigration applications to the Interior Ministry. In the statement marking his decision, he wrote that “the point of the Law of Return is an ingathering of the Jewish people from exile, and the purpose of the 1970 amendment was to enable the family of a Jewish person to come to Israel as an equal to him, in order to encourage immigration.” He continued. “I do not see any reason to distinguish between Jews who had a heterosexual marriage and Jews who had a same-sex marriage abroad, according to the law. Both meet the requirements of the Law of Return, from the perspective of ‘and the sons have returned.'”