Israel Set to Grant Gay Men Adoption Tax Benefits

A vote in the Israeli Knesset will reveal whether the Jewish state is ready to recognize some rights for same-sex couples.

BY Alex J Davidson

December 04 2013 11:51 AM ET

Israeli couples sit on the grass as they take part in the annual gay pride parade on August 1, 2013 in Jerusalem. 2,500 people took part in the gay pride parade calling for equal rights, as 150 Ultra Orthodox Jews demonstrated to denounce the 'abomination' of homosexuality.

The Israeli parliament is set to grant same-sex couples equal tax treatment, which will include giving gay men who adopt the same status as their straight counterparts.

That means gay parents who adopt would have that parent-child relationship recognized under the tax code, although there would be no recognition of the partnership between the two adults, such as domestic partnership or marriage.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the move stems from a bill introduced by Adi Kol, a member of the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset: "The bill in question, proposed by Kol, gives male homosexual couples an equal tax break for having children as that enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Currently, a tax benefit is given to women with children in order to encourage them to join the workforce."

There is plenty of opposition to the bill, mainly from hardline conservatives who resist any recognition of same-sex couples and claim it would give gay male parents greater rights than straight ones. Gay couples could choose which parent receives the tax break, but heterosexual couples would not have access to the benefit if the mother does not earn enough to get it. Also, the Post notes, "if two men are in a partnership and only one is legally recognized as a parent, he can still get the tax break, whereas a widower or other single father cannot, since it is a benefit meant for women."

The conservative party Bayit Yehudi leads the opposition to Kol's bill, on which the Knesset will take a preliminary vote Wednesday. It will then go to a committee that will change the text to reflect one of the alternatives proposed by Bayit Yehudi.

"One would be for all parents, regardless of gender, to receive half of the tax break currently granted to women," the Post reports, while "another is for a set of parents to get a set, combined tax break and for the finance minister to pass regulations, and not a law, for extenuating circumstances."


Contact reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at twitter.com/adwildcat

Tags: Parenting

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