Statement on Israel’s Discriminatory New Surrogacy Law

Letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

August 15, 2018

I am writing to express my deep disappointment at the passage of a new surrogacy law that expanded state-supported surrogacy to single women but excludes same-sex couples and single men, in turn effectively denying state-supported surrogacy to Israel’s gay citizens.
As a proud Jewish legislator and the first openly gay or lesbian member of New York State’s legislature, I have long been proud of Israel’s record on gay and lesbian rights. However, by excluding gay and lesbian couples from the right to marry and continuing to exclude same-sex couples and men from state-supported surrogacy, Israel is enshrining discrimination against the LGBTQ community and effectively preventing many from the ability to begin a family.
I am heartened by the acts of civil disobedience Israelis have engaged in to protest this new law, and am hopeful that the government will soon take action to ensure that all Israelis are treated equally under the law.