The Israeli Law Professors’ Forum for Democracy, an ad hoc and voluntary group of experts on Israeli law and specifically Israeli public law, expresses its grave concern over the apparent intention to abolish the independence of the judiciary, to subordinate it to the government and to the partisan political considerations of the executive branch, to undermine the independent status of the attorney general and civil service legal counsels, and to violate human rights. In this paper we address the expected harm to the rights of LGBTQ persons, resulting from the composition of the government and the appointments it has made, from the coalition agreements, from bills proposed by members of the coalition, and from the actions and statements made by the Government and its members. We conclude that the combined actions, obligations and legislative changes, undertaken by the government and the coalition is likely to cause grave harm to the rights of all LGBTQ persons in Israel and their families. In addition they carry real potential to harm the rights of heterosexual persons in Israel, and to cause an extremely severe regression in the rights of the LGBTQ community in Israel.
● The combined actions, obligations and legislative changes undertaken by the government and coalition may cause a fatal damage to the rights of all LGBTQ persons in Israel and their families. In addition they carry real potential to harm the rights of heterosexual persons in Israel, and to cause an extremely severe regression in the rights of the LGBTQ community in Israel.
● The legislative changes contemplated by the coalition, to allow discrimination on religious grounds of LGBTQ persons, may, if adopted, eliminate the legal protections for the rights of LGBTQ persons to equality and liberty in the public sphere; impair their autonomy; and impair their freedom from discrimination and from violation of human dignity in all areas of life: at home, in the public sphere, in commerce and consumerism, in leisure activities and more.
● The legislative change that would permit discrimination on grounds of religion may allow any business owner to refuse LGBTQ persons access to the business, either as clients or as employees, for example in order to attract homophobic clientele.
● The weakening of the Supreme Court through politicization of the appointment of judges and through annulment of effective judicial review may harm LGBTQ. Families, parental autonomy, the right to parenthood of LGBTQ persons and the rights of their children may be adversely affected, since the legal recognition of LGBTQ families in Israel is grounded almost entirely in judicial decisions.
● The weakening of judicial independence may cause grave harm especially to the rights of persons on the transgender spectrum, since the rights of these persons in core issues such as autonomy, legal recognition, parenthood, employment, health, discrimination in services and products and access to public spaces have been recognized and protected almost entirely by judicial decision.
● Expansion of the rabbinical courts’ jurisdiction is likely to cause harm to parents going through divorce following their coming out. It will also harm their children, since it will expand the reach of the law applied in rabbinical courts to additional families.
● The weakening of the Supreme Court’s authority to block discriminatory legislation and offer remedy to minority groups will cause particular harm to the rights of LGBTQ persons. In addition, the government’s intention to limit the activities of human rights organizations will harm the activity of civil society, which has always been an indispensable component in the campaign for equal rights for LGBTQ persons.
● The Prime Minister’s claim in his speech of 23 March 2023 that LGBTQ persons’ rights will not be harmed is a lie. The government's plans, and first amongst them the political takeover of the procedures for the selection of judges, will harm the rights of LGBTQ persons.