News

Israel President Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Dec 9, 2013
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Israel’s President Shimon Peres
Israel’s President Shimon Peres  (Source:AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli President Shimon Peres announced his support for same-sex marriage during a trip to Mexico, the Israeli newspaper Ynet News reports.

"Even a person who is a homosexual is a human being, and he has rights. We have no power to take away [their] rights," Peres told the newspaper. "We cannot take away someone’s rights because they are different. We cannot take away their right to breathe, right to eat or right to start a family. We must allow everyone to live as is natural to them."

Peres, 90, made his remarks as the Israeli government is considering a bill that would grant tax credits to same-sex couples, the Huffington Post reports.

Though gay marriage is not legal in Israel, the country does recognize same-sex marriages that were performed outside Israel. Additionally, gay and lesbian women can openly serve in the military, and in 1992 Israel passed a measure that bans employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Peres served as Israel’s prime minister twice. In 1994 he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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