IDF Continues Policy of Protecting Gay Rights
New Policy Helps Gay and Straight Parents in Reserve Duty Take Care of Kids
By Matti Bernhardt
Tazpit News Agency
Gay and straight couples with kids will no longer have to deal with situations where both parents are enlisted for reserve service. The IDF decided on Wednesday, May 13th, to form special committees to deal with this problem, according to the IDF Reserves Corps.
The committees will communicate between units to make sure kids have a parent at home, which will therefore prevent situations where both parents are enlisted. The committees will also prevent enlistment of single mothers with young kids.
The decision came after discussions with an Israeli LGBT group called The Israeli Gay Fathers Association.
“During Operation Protective Edge, many couples were enlisted for reserve forces at the same time. They did want to contribute, however they saw that there was no arrangement for their kids,” a spokesman for the Israeli Gay Fathers Association told Tazpit News Agency.
“We decided to turn to the IDF, who immediately cooperated. We held a few meetings in which the army showed a willingness to solve the problem. Parents can’t leave their kids alone. It took a while until the army figured out a solution, and they eventually decided to form the special committees.”
Israelis who are eligible for reserve service might serve as much as a month a year or even more once they complete their mandatory army service. During this time, Israelis are away from their homes, jobs and families. In some situations, a reservist might only get leave for two days during an entire month.
The decision continues the IDF’s policy of protecting gay rights. The Israeli army has been one of the first in the world to allow openly gay people to serve, and has held that policy since 1993. The IDF also recognizes same sex spouses of deceased soldiers as “military widows.”