“The past few years have seen the rapid advancement of openly LGBT people on the Israeli right…”
Due to the longtime presence of religious parties in Israeli government coalitions, and the ability of minority factions in bare-majority governments to block legislation, most strides in LGBT rights have come about as a result of judicial decisions. “The only reforms achieved through legislation pertain to rights of gays and lesbians as individuals and by amendments of existing laws,” says Michal Eden, a former Tel Aviv city councilwoman and LGBT legal advocate. A week before the pride celebration, the country’s National Labor Court ruled that employers cannot discriminate against citizens due to their gender identity.
But this method of legal progress may be beginning to change. Last week, Knesset members from the Likud and Kulanu parties partnered to introduce an employment anti-discrimination bill, marking the first time that the present coalition has attempted to pass pro-LGBT legislation. Their effort follows the failed attempt by an opposition MK to file a similar bill. The past few years have seen the rapid advancement of openly LGBT people on the Israeli right, a development that has proven exasperating for many gay activists, most of whom identify with the left.