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Partner of Israeli Gay Shooting Victim to Be Deported? 

Partner of Israeli Gay Shooting Victim to Be Deported? 

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The partner of one of the men killed in a 2009 shooting at a gay and lesbian community center in Tel Aviv is reportedly being deported to Germany, an official said Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Thomas Schmidt, now 27, began the bureaucratic process of registering as the partner of Israeli citizen Nir Katz in 2008. Less than one year later, Katz, 26, was one of two Israelis shot and killed at a meeting of gay and lesbian youth by a masked gunman.

Schmidt has lived in Israel since 2004 and wishes to stay in the country, Nirit Moskovich of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which represents Schmidt, told the Associated Press. Schmidt says he has grown close to the family of his partner and is not in contact with his family in Germany.

A spokeswoman for Israel's Interior Ministry said Schmidt's case was brought before a special humanitarian committee last year and that he was told he could stay in Israel for nine months only.

When he returned to the ministry this week, he was told his visa had expired and would not be renewed. Nitzan Horowitz, Israel's only openly gay lawmaker, is arguing on Schmidt's behalf. He wrote Israel's interior minister that "there would be no damage to the state of Israel if such a positive person as Thomas Schmidt, in light of the difficult and extraordinary circumstances, would stay with us here."

Read more here.

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