Supreme Court to review status of 5 gay couples

Supreme Court President Aharon Barak said Wednesday he would appoint an expanded panel of justices to hear five petitions calling on the Interior Ministry's Population Registrar to change the status of the partners in five homosexual couples married abroad from single to married. Homosexual marriages are forbidden in Israel and so the couples, all Israeli residents, went abroad to get married. When they returned, the Population Registrar refused to register their new status. Barak gave the state and the petitioners 90 days to add new information to the written briefs they had already deposited. The state's representative, Attorney Yochi Gnessin, told Barak she wanted to plead her case in court and did not want the justices to base their ruling solely on the written briefs.