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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Israeli Supreme Court rules same-sex ‘marriage’ not a civil right

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

JERUSALEM, September 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Israeli Supreme Court unanimously rejected homosexual "marriage."

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association in the Jewish nation demanded that the law against same-sex "marriage" be declared unconstitutional, but on Thursday the court turned them down. The LGBTQI organization argued that Israel's Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty should be legally interpreted as recognizing homosexual "marriage."

The country’s highest court agreed that "Israeli civil law does not recognize same-sex marriage."  In fact, there is no such thing as "civil marriage" in the country.  Therefore, "the petitioners' request to have the civil court rule on something under the jurisdiction of the rabbinical courts … is not applicable here."

Israel has two coexisting court systems. Religious courts deal with "personal status" issues such as marriage, divorce, and the like. (There are Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Druze [a sect of Islam] courts in Israel.)

Civil courts deal with material disputes, criminal matters, and penalties. (Divorces go through the religious courts, but wives often initially file in the more female-friendly civil courts because whichever court first gets the case determines alimony and child support.)

Since Palestine came under British rule in the 1920s, all marriages are sanctioned by the couple's religious entity, not the government. The strict constitutionalist judges therefore ruled that they don't have jurisdiction to legally "recognize" homosexual or any other marriage.  

"In essence, the petitioners are asking the court to recognize same-sex marriage via court ruling, despite the fact that Israeli law does not recognize it," Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Neal Handel, and Anat Baron explained.

The high court did leave open the possibility of the law being changed by legislators. "Regarding the possibility of recognizing marriages which are not performed under religious auspices, including same-sex marriage, there already is a ruling that such recognition is the purview of the legislative body."

Addressing the homosexuals' demand that the nation's Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty (BLHDL) should be interpreted as legalizing sodomic "marriages," the court noted that that law specifically seeks to preserve the current system, which relegates marriage to the religious courts.

The BLHDL "was intended from the start to protect, among other things, the right of rabbinical courts to rule," Judge Rubinstein explained.  

"The petitioners … attempt to circumvent the law's essential ruling," the former deputy to the president said, "to receive constitutional support for exactly that which those who wrote the Basic Laws clearly intended not to allow."

Homosexual activist Chen Arieli opined, "We can only be sorry about this decision," because giving jurisdiction to the legislature politicizes the issue.

The chairwoman of the liberal Meretz political party, Zehava Gal-On, challenged the legislature to legalize homosexual "marriage." "LGBT couples have the right to get married just like anyone else,” she said. “This outrageous discrimination against them is a disgrace for a democratic state.”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid vowed to vote for same-sex marriages. "A father and father and a mother and mother are families," he said. "We don’t want to live in darkness.”

Israeli parliament has been influenced by increasing popular support for homosexuality. In 2014, legislators extended the law allowing ethnic Jews to become Israeli citizens to also include non-Jewish same-sex partners.

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