LGBTQ+ couples in Haifa can now register as married with their municipality, opening up their eligibility for marriage benefits that other couples already receive, Walla News reported on Tuesday. "Over the last year, several municipalities across the country are doing the right thing - filling up the empty vacuum space left by the government that has induced discrimination against us," said Ohad Hazak, CEO of the the Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel. Haifa mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem left the municipality meeting before the decision came to a vote, while deputy-mayor Nachshon Tzuk voted nay. "It is sad for us that the mayor of our city made the decision to be absent from such an important vote," added Chazak. "We see that disrespectful act as disregarding our rights."