'Happy occasion' as Israel names first gay judge

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