LGBTQ+ couples in Israel have scored a major victory for their ability to build families.

The country’s health minister announced today that starting next week, LGBTQ+ people will be able to use surrogate mothers to have children.

In a statement, out gay Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz called this “a historic day for the struggle of the LGBT community in Israel and for Israeli society as a whole.”

“We are putting an end to years of injustice and discrimination,” Horowitz continued. “The surrogacy equality revolution is underway.”

Until now, surrogacy has only been available to heterosexual couples, as well as single women. Horowitz emphasized that the new law extends surrogacy rights not only to same-sex couples, but to transgender people as well. It also grants rights to single fathers.

The announcement follows a 2020 Supreme Court decision that ruled current law banning LGBTQ+ couples from using surrogates is unconstitutional and “disproportionately harmed the right to equality and the right to parenthood,” reported Edge Media Network.

The Supreme Court gave the Israeli government one year to create a new law, but parliament failed to do so. As such, the court took matters into its own hands and changed the law itself.

“Full equality. That is the simple demand and it is the goal of the LGBT struggle, the long struggle of my community,” Horowitz said. “Equality before the law and equality of parenthood.”

The new law is set to take effect on January 11.

LGBTQ allies and activists are celebrating across social media,

The Center for Jewish Impact called this “a proud day for Jewish families.”

Another Twitter user called the move “some long-awaited justice.”

Israel is generally considered accepting of LGBTQ+ people and the most progressive country in the Middle East when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights.

Nevertheless, the country has still not achieved marriage equality.

filed under: LGBTQ+ rights, LGBTQ+ equality, love is love, family is family, LGBTQ+ families, surrogacy, family building