Israeli lesbians banned from child visitation win appeal

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Attorney Ayelet Golan-Tabori, who represented the couple, hailed the ruling.

"Civil rights were again declared in Israel where a lesbian couple can live together and raise children, without the intervention of any legal body," she told Israel Radio.

Jerusalem Open House, Israel's primary gay and lesbian community center hailed the ruling.

The court's ruling "is the best answer" to recent anti-gay remarks made by public figures, such as legislator Nisim Ze'ev of the Shas party, who "called for mothers of gay sons to sit shiva" for their children, said Hagai El-Ad, Open House's executive director.

"Our reply to these attacks is through our daily activities, demonstrating a spirit of tolerance and respect towards all people: religious and secular, Palestinian and Israeli, gay and straight," El-Ad said.

In related news, a controversy tainted Tuesday's event in the Knesset commemorating the 25th anniversary of the association of gays and lesbians in Israel.

Over the weekend, vandals spray-painted anti-gay graffiti on the home of Labor Party Knesset member Yael Dayan, an organizer of the event, the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot reported.

"Until now, I have received telephone threats regarding homosexual issues, but this is the first time my private life has been targeted," she was quoted as saying.

Religious lawmakers are also reportedly incensed over plans to hold the event at the Knesset.

Ze'ev condemned the attack on Dayan's home, but he protested the planned event and criticized Dayan for "provocative" acts.

El-Ad said Open House delegates "will proudly go to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, tomorrow, and celebrate the achievements of our community."