In historic move, Israel has added more than $5 million over the next two years to address the needs of the LGBT community after an earlier government funding proposal drew criticism.
The government will provide NIS 10 million (approximately $2.64 million) annually over the next two years to various government ministries for initiatives that will benefit LGBT Israelis, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Wednesday, according to Haaretz.
”There’s no doubt that this is a significant milestone on the gay community’s road to living equally in Israel,” said Ohad Hizki, director of the Israeli National LGBT Task Force, according to Haaretz.
The sharp increase in government funding follows a protest sparked by a Tourism Ministry plan in April to allocate 11 million shekels to encourage gay tourism to Israel, while the government was giving less than 2 million shekels annually to all the country’s LGBT organizations. Kahlon met with representatives of the gay organizations in May and promised to increase their funding.
The finance minister said Wednesday that the approved plan includes 1.5 million shekels to the Social Affairs Ministry for gay centers, support groups for members of the LGBT community and their families, and emergency frameworks for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual individuals who are thrown out of their homes.