Former Supreme Court chief judge urges Israel to legalise equal marriage

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A former president of the Supreme Court of Israel has announced his support for equal marriage and warns Israel’s marriage laws are a “clear violation of basic human rights”.

In his new book entitled ‘Human Dignity: The Constitutional Right and its Derivatives’, Aharon Barak writes that the lack of marriage equality in Israel is a violation of “human dignity.”

Mr Barak was president of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Israel.

Same-sex marriages are recognised in Israel, but must be conducted overseas as only the religious authorities: Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Druze can perform marriages, and none offer gay couples the chance to marry.

Like mixed faith straight couples, gay couples must marry in another country such as France or Canada, but once they do, they are recognised as a married couple in the Jewish state.

In May 2012, the Israeli Parliament voted against introducing civil marriage for gay and straight couples.