The proposal to legalize surrogacy in New York was presented as an unequivocal progressive ideal, a remedy to a ban that burdens gay and infertile couples and stigmatizes women who cannot have children on their own.
And yet, as the...
Major strikes are planned across Israel this Sunday (July 22) to protest a new law that essentially excludes LGBT couples from state-supported surrogate pregnancies. The law, which received a last-minute vote from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, previously allowed only heterosexual married couples to qualify for government-funded surrogacy under Israel’s national health care system.
The new law expands eligibility to include single women—but not single men. And as Israel does not yet recognize same-sex marriage, the change effectively rules out surrogacy for gay and lesbian couples.
“This is a huge disappointment,” says prominent LGBT activist and Tel Aviv city council member Yaniv Waizman. “The law purposely excluded single men because [its sponsors] did want gays to be included.”
The new law prompted immediate public protests from Israel’s vocal activist community—along with condemnation from private sector companies, particularly from the country’s many high-tech firms, committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. The law is also a challenge to Israel’s heavily promoted image as haven for LGBT rights in the Middle East, a reputation that has helped Tel Aviv...