The state of Israel will see the birth of its first LGBTQ political organisation on Tuesday, August 7.
The political party will be solely dedicated towards progressing the rights of the country’s marginalised community.
Imri Kalmann, the party’s founder, said the organisation will be made up of LGBTQ individuals as straight people cannot be expected to effectively represent the community. “A lot of parties like saying they promote gay rights, but we can better run our struggles by ourselves,” Kalmann said.
“Straight people can’t really represent us. It’s time to have our own representatives. We are an organised community, and the way we accomplished so much so far has been to work for ourselves,” GayStarNews reported.
The party, which will be founded in Tel Aviv, will fight for issues such as the denial of surrogacy rights for gay people. According to PinkNews, Kalmann said he would not be leading the party, and called on well-known LGBTQ politicians and figures to feature on its list, in order to reflect a balanced representation of the community.
Israel is known as the most tolerant country in the Middle East when it comes to LGBTQ people but there has been an increase in political tension with regards to LGBTQ equality.
Last month, more than a 100 000 people marched to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to demand the inclusion of gay people in a new policy on surrogacy. This was said to be the largest LGBTQ mass demonstration in the history of the country. The newly passed law only supports surrogacy for heterosexual married couples and unmarried women.
Ahead of the protest, activists also highlighted other issues that continue to hamper the LGBTQ community. “In Israel today, lesbian women cannot register their children to school, transgender people are stabbed on the streets, and LGBTQ teens are running into homophobia every day in school,” said the group Aguda.
Some activists have accused the state of using and promoting its tolerance for the LGBTQ community to deflect from the gross human rights abuses of the Palestinian people.