Israel: Justice Minister officiates ‘illegal’ same-sex wedding

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Israel’s Justice Minister has officiated a gay wedding, despite same-sex marriage not being legal in the country.

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Minister for Justice since 2013, posted a photo today on Facebook of her performing a same-sex wedding ceremony, next to photos from her own wedding.

According to the Jerusalem Post, she wrote: “I was under the huppah 30 years ago and yesterday. Then, I had personal happiness and today my happiness can help make other people happy

“At the ceremony, I said that the government cannot give out licenses for love.

“No power in the world can veto love or stand in the way of a couple that is in love and wants a life together.”

Officiating the ceremony, which cannot be recognised by her own justice ceremony, Livni married former parliamentary aide Tsach Sa’ar, and attorney Guy Arad.

Livni has since insisted that performing the ceremony was not intended as a provocation.

She said: “In our eyes, Judaism is open, accepting and respects all people who were created in God’s image.”

Last week, Israel’s gay surrogacy bill finally gained the approval of the cabinet, overcoming a hurdle which had stalled it for months.

There are no current plans to introduce same-sex marriage in the country, after a bill which would have allowed civil unions was defeated in December.

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.