Gantz Promises to Adapt Israel's Defense Ministry Forms to Include LGBTQ Families

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Attendees hug at an LGBT rights rally in Jerusalem, June 28, 2020.
Attendees hug at an LGBT rights rally in Jerusalem, June 28, 2020.Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon

Defense Minister Benny Gantz pledged on Thursday that the ministry’s forms would be revised to acknowledge LGBTQ families, changing the “father” and “mother” categories to read “parent 1” and “parent 2” instead.

A statement from Gantz's office said that the Defense Ministry administration is "examining the issue and preparing to change the forms in accordance with the minister’s instructions.”

The statement added that they expect to finish this process next month, after which they "will begin work to adjust the relevant forms within the ministry."

Gantz said “this is a symbolic and important step toward recognizing the spectrum of families and lifestyles,” and that he has asked all cabinet ministers of Kahol Lavan to begin doing the same in their offices, "to give all citizens, in all ministries, a sense of inclusion.”

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, also of Kahol Lavan, said earlier this month that he would be revising the forms in his ministry as well.

Gantz and Nissenkorn's decision follows a Knesset vote last month to revise all state forms so as not to specify the genders of parents. The legislation, introduced by Yesh Atid MK Yorai Lahav Hertzanu, did not pass after Kahol Lavan lawmakers were absent from the vote, in keeping with coalition discipline. Likud, the right-wing Yamina, the ultra-Orthodox parties, and the predominantly Arab Joint List all voted against it.

Nissenkorn explained that "The proposal was not brought up for discussion at the ministerial committee on legislation, which has been silenced by Likud's policy." Despite this, Nissenkorn said that he and the ministers in his party would act to adapt official forms in their ministries to suit LGBTQ parents.

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