Israel: Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is planning to promote an amendment to the Inheritance Law that would allow same-sex partners to be each others’ heirs when the Knesset reconvenes for its summer session on May 11.
“Love is love, and a family is a family, and it’s inconceivable that the law allows for institutional discrimination,” Livni told haaretz.com.
Presently, inheritance rules apply to married couples, as well as to “a man and a woman who conduct family life in a joint household.”
Livni said she wants to change the wording of the law so that it would apply to “partners who conduct family life in a joint household.” This gender neutral wording will then include same-sex couples.
“The Inheritance Law was legislated in 1965, but Israeli society has progressed and is much more inclusive,” Livni was quoted as saying. “Families in 2014 are much more varied than they were in the 1960s, making it only proper that the relevant laws be changed accordingly.”
Israeli courts have recently been recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to inherit each other. The move in the Knesset is aimed at merely ratifying these developments with legislation.
A similar bill, submitted to the Knesset in 2011, never advanced. Livin, a member of the Hatnuah party is strongly opposed by the Habayit Hayehudi party that has successfully buried a series of bills that sought to grant formal recognition to same-sex couples in Israel.
Although same-sex relations were legalized by Israel in 1988 social discrimination against the LGBT community does persist and marriages between same-sex couples cannot be performed in the country.
Last month, Jewish Home, a nationalist and religious zionist political party, managed to block a bill that would have allowed single people and same-sex couples to use surrogate mothers in Israel.
The Yisrael Beiteinu party has also made it clear in recent months that they would not permit the advancement of bills proposed to allow civil unions in Israel if the legislation includes the recognition of same-sex couples.