ACRI turns to the Ministry of Religious Services: Explain how transgender people are buried

Photo by: Tal Dahan, ACRI

On August 2nd 2017, the Court ordered the Ministry of Religious Services to respond to ACRI’s petition, asking for information about the burial policy of transgender people. ACRI petitioned the Court after the Ministry ignored the appeals of the transgender community for years.


On July 31st, 2017 ACRI filed a Freedom of Information petition against the Ministry of Religious Services requesting information on the burial policy of transgender and transgender people. In the petition, ACRI demanded to understand whether transgender people are buried according to the gender by which they identify or according to the gender that was assigned to them at birth, and to find out how the burial takes place when there is a conflict between the gender identity of a person and the identity in which the family wishes they be buried.


There have been a number of cases in recent years in which transgender people were buried by the name and gender they were assigned at birth, which did not match the name and gender in with which they identified. For example, last February, Gila Goldstein, a veteran of the transgender community in Israel, died. Although Gila identified as a woman, she was buried as a man.


“For a woman who struggled all her life to live by the right gender identity, the thought that she will be buried as a man is shocking,” explains Gitit Dahan, an activist with the organization Kirtzono – Religious Transgenders. Dahan continued stating, “In effect they are erasing her identity and fundamentally damaging her basic right to dignity.”


Eden Arazi of Kirtzono approached the Ministry of Religious Services five years ago to clarify the policy on the subject. Despite repeated requests over the years, she did not receive a substantive response, and therefore turned to ACRI.


“The Ministry of Religious Services has not bothered to answer the requests of the community for years, and now it has also ignored our  freedom of information requests,” says attorney Sharon Avraham-Weiss, director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.


To read the petition in Hebrew, click here

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties


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