Israel's LGBT community protests for fathers' surrogacy rights

Protesters against PM Benjamin Netanyahu

At the same time, hundreds of protesters in support of the LGBT community launched a demonstration near the official prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.

Some of the companies who expressed their solidarity with the LGBT community's protest include pharmaceutical company Teva; communication companies Bezeq, Cellcom and Motorola; TV providers Yes and HOT; Facebook Israel; credit card companies such as Leumi Card and Isracard; pharmacy company Super-Pharm; Clal Insurance; airlines El Al and Israir; construction engineering company Electra; supermarket chain Sufersal and many others.

Tens of thousands of Israeli LGBT advocates and their supporters went on strike across the country Sunday, protesting the exclusion of gay men from a recently passed surrogacy law.

"Look me in the eyes and tell me I don't deserve to be a father!" he said.

Bahloul said gay couples wanting to have children must find a surrogate mother overseas and the costs can rise to more than $100,000.

However, leaders of the gay community say Israel still has far to go in promoting equality. "The gay community is going on strike!"

Around 200 companies announced they would allow their employees to not work to protest without it counting against their vacation days.

"This is a regrettable and unequal law".

Israel's Airports Authority has warned that flights to the country are likely to be delayed as a result of the strike.

Magen David Adom emergency service and Ichilov Hospital also announced that they were allowing their workers to take part in the demonstration.

Meanwhile some companies have vowed to help fund surrogacy privately.

A man holds a flag next to a banner with the photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a LGBT community members protest against discriminatory surrogate bill in Tel Aviv, Israel July 22, 2018.

Netanyahu said that, had he support the fathers' amendment, the entire bill would have been blocked in parliament, denying single women surrogacy rights.

Instead, he said he would keep his original plan to advance amended legislation to provide surrogacy access to fathers as well as mothers.

Israel is moderately progressive on LGBT rights.

The premier relies on ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, both of which oppose families with same-sex parents.

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