JUNE 1, 2021 - Unmarried couples now able to register as families in Tel Aviv-Yafo

The new registration process emphasizes the character of Tel Aviv-Yafo as a city that advocates for equality and human dignity for all residents.

JUNE 1, 2021 - Unmarried couples now able to register as families in Tel Aviv-Yafo

Tel Aviv-Yafo, June 1 – Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality took a significant step toward ensuring equality of access to essential services today (Tuesday) by recording unmarried couples – including same-sex partners – as family units in a unified database for the first time.

The municipality has recently completed the adaptation of its databases to enable all municipal bodies to provide full services to couples who have chosen to live together and share a household.

The first three unmarried couples to register their partnerships at the municipality included Etai Pinkas Arad, the city council member in charge of LGBTQ affairs and leader of the initiative, and his partner Yoav Arad. Photos (Credit: Kfir Sivan): https://bit.ly/3i6zlRL.

Registration is available to partners defined as common-law couples by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi); or, alternatively, upon presentation of an affidavit approved by an attorney that details their cohabitation.

Following the registration process, the municipality will provide couples with a certificate and will streamline and facilitate access to the same municipal rights as every married couple, including the enrolment of children in the city's educational institutions; discounts at community centers; and providing parking permits for spouses not listed on property tax bills.

The new registration process, an initiative of city council member Etai Pinkas Arad, emphasizes the character of Tel Aviv-Yafo as a city that advocates for equality and human dignity for all residents.

Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo: "I welcome the addition of registration for couples to the municipal databases. Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality recognizes every couple. The registration makes this clear and eases the bureaucracy for couples. I hope that the Israeli government will soon close the gap and step forward into the twenty-first century, by implementing equal rights in matters of personal status. In particular, progress is required in regards to the LGBTQ community: the right to marry, equal parenthood, protection from hate crimes and abuse in the workplace, and more. This message will originate from Tel Aviv-Yafo and spread across the country. We will not give up until rationality proves victorious."

Etai Pinkas Arad, Tel Aviv-Yafo City Council Member in charge of LGBTQ affairs: "Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has taken a ground-breaking decision to enable the registration of unmarried couples, which has led to a wave of similar decisions in local authorities across the country. More than one million Israeli citizens now live in local authorities that recognize their partnership – even if they are unable or do not wish to marry through the rabbinate. This process is intensifying and will provide great leverage over the Interior Ministry to recognize such registrations, and over the Knesset to permit spousal agreements – and eventually also civil marriages.

"We are excited to open the registration today and come full circle together with Yoav, my partner. We were married by the City of Toronto exactly 16 years ago, but our marriage has not been recognized by the State of Israel until today. I call on all municipal leaders to join this initiative and for the Knesset to do what it should have done decades ago, by enabling equal civil marriages for all."

Link to the online municipal registration form (Hebrew): https://bit.ly/3xl1RnU.