Uzi Even

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Uzi Even
Prof. Uzi Even.jpg
Date of birth (1940-10-18) 18 October 1940 (age 73)
Place of birth Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
Knessets 15
Party represented in Knesset
2002–2003 Meretz

Uzi Even (Hebrew: עוזי אבן‎, born 18 October 1940) is an Israeli professor emeritus of physical chemistry at Tel Aviv University and a former politician well known for being the first openly gay member of the Knesset.

Biography[edit]

Uzi Even was born in Haifa during the Mandate era. He studied for a BSc and MSc in physics at the Technion, and a PhD at Tel Aviv University. His specializations are spectroscopy of super cold molecules, molecular clusters and cluster impact chemistry, and the quantum properties of helium clusters.

In 1993 he revealed that the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel, had sacked him and removed his security clearance after they discovered he was gay. His testimony led to Yitzhak Rabin's government changing the law and regulations to allow homosexuals to serve in the army in any position, including one requiring high security clearance.[1] In 1995 he successfully challenged his employer, Tel Aviv University, for spousal rights for his partner.

On March 10, 2009, the Family Court ruled that Even and his former partner, Amit Kama, could legally adopt their 30-year-old foster son, Yossi Even-Kama, making them the first same-sex male couple in Israel whose right of adoption was legally acknowledged but step adoption by same-sex male couples is still prohibited in Israel.[2]

In 2013 Even has set yet another legal precedent by divorcing his partner Amit Kama whom he married in Canada in 2004. The divorce has been granted by the Family Court since the Rabbinical Court does not recognize same-sex marriage. The implications are tremendous, as this might lead the way for straight couples to by-pass the religious establishment as well, which, in Israel, holds monopoly on marriage and divorce affairs. The motivation has been personal as his new Romanian-Dutch partner Ovidiu Pavel has been refused residence by the Ministry of Interior on the grounds of Even's marital status.

Political career[edit]

A member of Meretz, he narrowly missed out on being elected to the fifteenth Knesset in 1999, but as the next placed candidate on the party's list, he became an MK when Amnon Rubinstein resigned in 2002, making him the first openly homosexual member of the Knesset.[1] For the 2003 elections he was placed 15th on the party's list,[3] and lost his seat when they won only six seats.

In 2006, Even announced he was leaving Meretz and joining the Labor Party, feeling comfortable doing so after he noticed that Labor promised equality to all citizens in its election manifesto.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Israel's first gay MP enters parliament BBC News, 4 November 2002
  2. ^ Edelman, Ofra (2009-03-11). "Gay couple wins right to adopt foster son". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  3. ^ Candidates for the 16th Knesset Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

External links[edit]