'Happy occasion' as Israel names first gay judge

By Jennifer Lipman, February 21, 2011
Dori Spivak

Dori Spivak

Civil rights activists in Israel have praised the appointment of Israel’s first openly gay judge.

Dori Spivak, a lawyer and the former chairman of Israel’s Association for Civil Rights, (ACRI) was named as a Tel Aviv Labour court judge on Sunday.

Mr Spivak, a Harvard graduate who lectures at Tel Aviv University’s law department, has been involved in several high profile gay rights cases, including the Supreme Court’s landmark 1997 decision forcing a state channel to broadcast a programme about gay teenagers.

A lawyer for the ACRI, Dan Yakir, told Israeli newspaper Ynet that the appointment would “contribute to developing human rights”.

Mr Spivak’s longtime partner, law professor Dr Yishai Blank, added: “It's a happy occasion for us personally and also for the state.”

Last updated: 11:27am, February 21 2011