israel hamas conflict homosexual soldier Sagi Golan Omer Ohana homosexual companions demise rights

'Made Him Coffee...': Israeli Gay Soldier's Partner Recalls Last Meet

Sagi Golan and Omer Ohana had been planning to get “married” later in October (AFP)

Tel Aviv, Israel:

His particular forces reservist companion was killed within the Hamas assaults on Israel on October 7, two weeks earlier than their scheduled homosexual “wedding ceremony”.

However despite the fact that same-sex marriages usually are not formally acknowledged in Israel, Omer Ohana has since received homosexual troopers’ companions the identical rights to a widow’s pension as married {couples}.

His companion Sagi Golan was killed at Beeri kibbutz on the evening of October 7.

A reserve captain within the Lotar anti-terrorism unit, he determined to move to Beeri, one of many worst-hit places, 100 kilometers (60 miles) to the south, after they realized of the assaults.

The 30-year-old “jumped off the bed, and after a minute or two already he was sporting his uniform”, Ohana stated.

“I made him a espresso to take with him, and we kissed,” Ohana stated. “I instructed him to not be a hero.”

They agreed to ship one another hearts on WhatsApp each hour to let one another know “all the pieces is OK”. Ohana stated. “On midnight, I bought the final coronary heart from Sagi.”

Solely non secular marriages are recorded in Israel, though the state acknowledges homosexual marriages formalized overseas.

The 2 reservists had lived collectively for six years and had been planning to get “married” later in October, earlier than honeymooning in Costa Rica.

It will have been “extra like one get together with a ceremony”, Ohana instructed AFP in his house in central Israel.

As an alternative, the cotton flowers meant as decorations for the celebration had been utilized in a funeral wreath for Golan.

Army forms

Ohana, 28, was additionally mobilised, however for the northern entrance on the border with Lebanon.

Within the days that adopted, he sought in useless to get details about Golan, till army officers knocked on his door on the evening of October 10.

“They did not should say something. It was very clear,” he stated.

Golan had been killed in Beeri after having “extracted Israeli households from shelters” and was then “referred to as to evacuate a group underneath fireplace”, Ohana stated, sobbing.

Shot within the chest, Golan “was already lifeless” when his physique was recovered two hours later.

“I am simply hoping that he did not expertise the ache, that it was fast.”

A devastated Ohana needed to face his personal battle with army forms.

At first, he struggled to obtain monetary, medical and psychological help from the state. 

One officer “didn’t recognise me as Sagi’s companion”, he stated. 

Ohana demanded that his rights as a companion be enshrined in regulation.

In a rustic the place sexual minorities have gained visibility and elevated rights in latest many years, Ohana stated he and Golan “by no means skilled discrimination”.

“However we’re nonetheless not equal in life,” he stated bitterly.

After a public outcry, on November 6, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, amended the regulation to present a widow’s allowance to all lifeless troopers’ companions in common-law relationships, heterosexual in addition to homosexual, as a substitute of proscribing state help to widows and widowers of married troopers.

Companions of hostages or disappeared individuals may obtain the allowance no matter their gender, stated parliamentarian Yorai Lahav-Hertzanu of the centrist Yesh Atid get together, who proposed the modification and hailed it as “a significant step on the trail to equality”.

‘Absolute equality’

Ohana has obtained “1000’s of messages” of help, and believes Israelis are “very united” because the October 7 assault that killed 1,200 individuals, largely civilians.

In retaliation, Israel has declared it might annihilate Hamas, and has relentlessly bombarded the besieged Palestinian territory.

At the very least 13,000 individuals in Gaza have been killed in air strikes and floor combating, largely civilians, in line with Hamas.

Ohana’s battle will not be over: he now intends to marketing campaign for “a bundle of eight legal guidelines” which, as soon as adopted, “will get absolute equality in Israel” for LGBTQ individuals.

One proper that homosexual {couples} have loved in Israel since 2021 is surrogacy, and Ohana stated he would do all the pieces he may to allow Golan — whose sperm was frozen — to turn out to be a posthumous guardian.

“Sagi’s dream was to be a father,” he stated. “And now it is my mission to perform this dream.”

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

Most Popular

To Top