Israel President Shimon Peres Expresses Support for Gay Rights, Unions

Israel's President Shimon Peres came out for same-sex marriage today, Ynet reports:

PeresIn an interview with Ynet on Sunday while in Mexico's Guadalajara, Peres said that "even a person who is a homosexual is a human being, and he has rights. We have no power to take away (their) rights."

Peres added: "We cannot take away someone's rights because they are different. We cannot take away their right to breathe, right to eat or right to start a family. We must allow everyone to live as is natural to them."

Peres' comments came in response to a new bill being promoted by the Justice Ministry called 'Living together' which attempts to regulate some form of a civil partnership between same-sex couples.

Ynet adds:

An additional bill, being promoted by MK Stav Shaffir (Labor) and which attempt to secure equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, failed to make it through the committee a few weeks ago. Yesh Atid filed a party-supported initiative to regulate same-sex as well as civil (as opposed to religiously ordained) marriage in Israel. The gist of the bill was an attempt to form a civilian version of the rabbinate which would offer state-sanctioned civilian marriage services.


  1. Morris Schwartz says

    Peres said that “even a person who is a homosexual is a human being.” Wow. Even a homosexual is human? Well isn’t that special. Thanks you old fart.

  2. Rob says

    Homophobia and Anti Semitism go hand in hand, I’m here to tell you. (The Nazi’s killed us side by side.) I think gays, Jews, and Blacks should hang together better than we do. After all, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    It is up to whites to stand up for blacks, gentiles to stand up for Jews, straights to stand up for gays, and men to stand up for women’s rights. Collectively we could all be so much stronger than we are.

  3. Anonymouse says

    Where exactly in his comments did Peres “c[o]me out for same-sex marriage”? I must have missed it. He says “even a homosexual,” i.e. the lowest of the low, has the right to breathe and start a family. Not that “even a homosexual” has the right to get married.

  4. simon says

    Isn’t the president of Israel just a ceremonial post? Not sure his words carry any weight. They offered the first presidency to Einstein. During a cabinet meeting, the then prime minister was quite nervous and asked his colleagues : “What shall we do if he really accepts?”

  5. Casey says

    The fanatical and bigoted Orthodox Jews who have ever increasing political power in apartheid Israel will NEVER allow gay marriage. These people might as well be living in 1,000 B.C. as far as sexuality is concerned.

  6. Reality Check says

    Oh goodie, the leader of the apartheid state might deign to recognize same-sex relationships?

    Only if the participants are Jews, of course. In the zionist country, everyone else is forbidden from marrying Jews. To “protect the ethnic nature of the state,” you see.

    And everyone, Jew and non-Jew, is forbidden from marrying someone who lives in the occupied territories. For “reasons of national security,” you see.

    Don’t accept the pinkwashing, Israel is a racist, colonial entity.

  7. Nipper says

    @JP … “The Supreme Court of Israel, known as the High Court of Justice, ruled on November 21, 2006, that the Israeli government must recognize same-sex (“gay”) marriages performed in other countries. Israel itself does not allow same-sex marriages. … The High Court of Justice ruled 6-1 in favor of requiring Israel to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Though same-sex couples would have to marry in another country, their marriages would be registered in Israel the same as heterosexual marriages, and they would receive all of the legal benefits of marriage.”

  8. Jack says

    @Reality Check: So is wherever you are from.

    It’s funny how people with little or no understanding of history or the complexity of the region cry “pinkwashing” whenever Israel does something positive to the gays. As if there’s always some evil ulterior motive that those sneaky Jews have…no way anything they do could possibly just be because they came to that conclusion. Opposing things that Israel does is certainly not equivalent to anti-Semitism, but boy do people like you come awful damn close.

  9. Lee says

    Casey and RC are just bigoted neo nazis ignore them. And btw the Haridim have less than a dozen seats in parliament and are not in The ruling coalition idiots.

  10. MaryM says

    F*** that old fool.

    He supports CPs – not marriage.

    And he is carefully avoiding the fact that NO-ONE in Israel is allowed to enter a civil marriage – either same-sex or opposite sex couples thank to the stranglehold of religion in that country.

    Does Shimon Peres support civil marriage for same-sex and opposite sex couples.

    If not then his statements are meaningless and his use of the grossly offensive phase ‘Even homosexuals are human’ indicates that he is a disgusting bigot.

  11. says

    Ignorance is obvious in most of these post. I hate the hate shown! Israel has gay rights and and gay community centers, a State tourist division especially for gays.There are gay Pride Parades there in that same region of the world Arab States that have public hangings of gay youth and consenting adults.Thank you President Shimon Peres for your long service to the State of Israel… you are a mensch!

  12. New York says

    Once again, ANYTIME there is a towleroad posting about Israel, these comments turn to anti-Israel rhetoric.

    THEY HANG GAYS IN ARAB COUNTRIES! Yes, Israel has a religious right-wing that has significant conrol over the government. But, its secular society is doing what it can to push the gay rights movement forward.

    Israel is not an apartheid state, but instead a refuge of peace and progression in a region that is seemingly more backward (to WOMEN AND GAYS – oh, that’s right, they don’t think gays exist!).

  13. Victor says

    Wow, how many people in this post have found the original article in Hebrew and how many can comprehend it! Amazing! And yes, while Ynet is an Israeli newspaper, it’s not known for accuracy in translation.

    The reality is that the sentence Peres said uses “גם,” which can be translated as either “also” or “even.” Knowing Peres, I’d put my money on “also.” He is a person who is not known for offensive speech, and so I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

  14. Wally says

    They still haven’t apprehended and punished the homophobic terrorists who attacked the only gay youth center in Tel Aviv and murdered three gay men have they? Obviously avenging this attack is a low priority. SHAME.

  15. Gay Guy says

    An Israeli person can marry anybody (s)he wants Jewish or otherwise, same sex or opposite (outside of Israel) and register the marriage in Israel. Meanwhile, gays in the neighboring countries and in the territories are in constant fear for their lives.

    So stop the Israel bashing already!

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