July – The new Trans Center in Israel was opened. The center is the first community center of its kind in the country, dedicated entirely to each and every member of the trans community: transgender and gender-variant people of all ages and backgrounds, beginners and veterans alike.
August – For the first time ever, a sitting prime minister attended an LGBTQ event in Israel. Prime Minister Yair Lapid attended last Saturday’s event celebrating 20 years since the founding of IGY. In his speech, PM Lapid said: “Our mission as people who believe in respect and equality for everyone is to yell and fight no less than the homophobes and racists. They are losing this war. They will remain racists and homophobes, but their kids will no longer be”.
April – Sapir Berman, an Israeli soccer referee, came out as a trans woman. She is the first openly trans referee in Israel. The Israeli Football Association has announced that Berman will continue to work as a referee.
July – History was made when Raz Hersko becomes the first Israeli LGBTQ athlete to win an Olympic medal.
August – Israel has lifted restrictions on blood donations by gay men, saying the longstanding limitation was discriminatory and denigrating.
July – Al Arz Tahini company donated funds to help create a crisis hotline for the LGBTQ Arab Community. In the wake of its announcement, the company has faced a boycott campaign from extreme voices in the Arab world.
April 2019 – 5 openly-gay members of parliament were elected to Israek’s Knesset – Amir Ohana from the Likud Party, Itzik Shmuli from the Labor Party and three MKs from the Blue and White party: Eitan Ginzburg, Idan Roll and Yorai Lahav Hertzanu.
June 2019 – a record 40-pride events were held across Israel, some in locations for the very first time. Israeli Journalist and former Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz was elected chair of the Meretz party, becoming the first openly gay man to head an Israeli political party. Benjamin Netanyahu appointed MK Amir Ohana as Justice Minister, making him Israel’s first openly gay cabinet member.
July – In July, the Israeli Knesset voted to keep a surrogacy law that excludes single men and gay couples. As a result, the Aguda LGBTQ task force organized a nationwide LGBTQ strike on July 22, 2018. Israelis took to the streets to protest against the discrimination of the LGBTQ community on the Israeli Surrogacy Law, and the continuing violence towards the Israeli trans community, culminating with an equal rights rally in Tel Aviv attended by over 100,000.
February 23 – the Knesset marked the first LGBTQ rights day, but on February 24, 2016, the parties that form the governing coalition, Likud, United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu, and the Jewish Home, supported by opposition members, defeated bills to recognize bereaved widowers, ban conversion therapy, recognize same-sex marriage, and train health professionals to deal with gender and sexual inclination issues.
August 2016 – A year after the murder of Shira Banki, a record 25,000 people marched at the 15th annual Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance.
December 2016 – Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit instructed Israel’s Interior Ministry to consider applications for citizenship by same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally under the same terms.
In July 2015, an Orthodox Jew released from prison after spending 10 years in jail for stabbing participants in a 2005 LGBT pride event in Jerusalem, attacked six marchers with a knife. One of the victims, a young woman, named Shira Banki, died of her wounds.
A public opinion poll by Haaretz showed support for same-sex marriage at 59% among Israelis.
The first same-sex Israeli couple was granted a divorce by an Israeli family court. The divorce of Tel Aviv University Professor Uzi Even, the first openly gay Knesset member, and Dr. Amit Kama was granted by the Ramat Gan Family Court, according to Haaretz, which ordered the Interior Minister to register their status as divorced.
January 5 – Menachem Sheizaf, chairman of the Aguda between 1997-1999 and a former communication advisor to former Israeli President Ezer Weitzman dies. Dozens of community members accompany him on his last journey.