Israel's LGBT community to strike on Sunday

Hospitals, airport, major corporations allow employees to join strike demanding LGBT couples be given right to have children via surrogates.

Tzvi Lev ,


Israel's LGBT community announced a nationwide strike on Sunday in order to protest the passing of the Surrogacy Bill, which permitted single women to have children via a surrogate, without expanding the right to same-sex couples.

The Surrogacy Bill, which passed on Wednesday, had raised hackles among the LGBT community over its limited expansion of rights to surrogacy, granting it as a right - including public funding - to single women, but excluding same-sex couples. In wake of the legislation, Israel's leading LGBT advocacy groups announced a nationwide strike on Sunday in order to protest what they contended was the bill's discriminatory policies.

"For the first time ever, the gay community will go on a national strike," said the LGBT 'Agudah' NGO. “On that day, workers from the community, and likewise our supporters and partners, won't be there at work and will close their businesses to protest the absolute discrimination against the LGBT community and the deterioration that has begun recently due to the government’s efforts to roll stop our campaign."

Some of Israel's leading corporations announced their support and pledged to let LGBT employees take the day off in order not to be penalized for skipping a day's work, including Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, the Airports Authority, the Yes television company, IBM Israel, Facebook, and eBay.

Microsoft Israel and Mellanox also committed to funding their employee's efforts to a conceive a child through surrogacy.