The High Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered to erase the word “to get married” from the phrase “The right to love, to get married, even if I am homosexual” from an Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) commercial. The ruling decided the Association’s petition, which was filed following the decision of the Second Broadcasting Authority to disqualify the commercial.
Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, joined by judges Anat Baron and Hanan Meltzer, explained the decision on the grounds that same-sex marriages are a controversial issue in Israel. However, the judges ruled that two other sentences which the Second Authority had disqualified would be allowed to be included: “The right to speak Arabic without fear” and “There is no dignity, no freedom, no equality, in a place that does not protect human rights.”
“There are differences of opinion within the Israeli public regarding the right of same-sex spouses to get married (as opposed to, hopefully, the right to love and to choose the way in which each man or woman will live their lives), and certainly among the public’s representatives in the Knesset and in government, and there is no recognition pf marriage between same-sex spouses in Israel,” Rubinstein wrote, adding that “the decision of the Second Authority was focused on the phrase ‘even if I am a homosexual,'” which is why he suggested “leaving these words in, and deleting the words ‘get married.'”
“In fact,” the Justice noted, “the struggle for same-sex couples’ right to marry is part of the struggle for civil marriages in Israel, since it is clear that religious law, which regulates marriages and divorces in the state, does not allow it.”
The Second Broadcasting Authority disqualified the commercial last year on the grounds that some of the phrases were controversial. The commercial included messages calling for home- and heterosexual marriage equality and supports for the status of Arabic as an official state language.
In response ACRI petitioned the High Court of Justice, claiming that the decision is extremely unreasonable and constitutes improper interference with the content of the commercial, which was intended to raise awareness of the importance of protecting human rights in Israel.