Israeli LGBT rights bills to be named after teen killed in Jerusalem Pride attack

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Sweeping new LGBT rights legislation in Israel will be named in honour of a teen who died after being stabbed at Jerusalem Pride.

Shira Banki was among six people wounded on Thursday by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, who went on a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s Pride parade.

The “happy and lively” 16-year-old died earlier this month, becoming the first casualty of the attack.

Amid a wave of sympathy following the attack, Zionist Union politician Tzipi Livni has proposed a number of new LGBT rights laws, named in memory of the teen.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the ‘Shira Banki bills’ would allow civil recognition of same-sex unions, ban ‘gay conversion’ therapy, bolster education programmes on equality issues, and introduce more supervisions for those convicted of hate crimes.

The alleged attacker Yishai Schlissel was released three weeks before the attack – after serving 10 years in prison for a previous attack at the same parade in 2005.

The bills will come to the Israeil Parliament (Knesset) in October.

Ms Livni told the newspaper: “The Shira bills are meant to be a deterrent and make it clear to anyone planning a hate crime and thinks that violence and racism are the way that their actions will be met with the advancement of equality and tolerance in Israeli society.

“It’s not enough to add to Israel Gay Youth’s budget, as the education minister suggested. Education for tolerance and equality, and providing the tools to educational staff on the topic must be a central anchor in the education system for all population groups, immediately.”

An anti-discrimination law that would have affirmed protections for LGBT people was blocked by the Israeli government earlier this year.

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

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

The Israeli Parliament has repeatedly voted against introducing civil marriage for gay and straight couples.