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Same-Sex Marriage in Tel Aviv

Tomorrow, though not actually legal

by
Ari M. Brostoff
June 11, 2009
Last year's Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv.(Getty Images)

Last year’s Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv.(Getty Images)

It’s Gay Pride month, and Tel Aviv’s annual Pride parade will this year include a wedding march. When it ends, four gay Israeli couples will exchange wedding vows. The ceremonies will be traditionally Jewish, complete with chuppahs and broken glass, the BBC is reporting. But, of course, they won’t have any legal weight: Israel doesn’t merely prohibit gay marriage; it doesn’t allow any weddings not sanctioned by the country’s chief rabbinate. Still, the participating couples are looking at the bright side. “It’s a chance to have our own rights: to have a quiet corner with our family, just like everyone else,” said Itay Gourevitch, who plans to wed his boyfriend, Tal Dekel, tomorrow.

Meantime, city tourism officials are hoping to draw gay Europeans on weekend trips to Tel Aviv: several tour companies have begun advertising Israel as a two-day-sex-on-the-beach kind of place rather than a two-week-holy-sites-and-camel-ride kind of place, according to the website Mideast Peace Pulse. Or: a honeymoon site!

Ari M. Brostoff is Culture Editor at Jewish Currents.