Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai announced that the city will allow all cohabiting couples to register their relationship as married.

Huldai said that the move was in part to protest the government's refusal to recognize gay and lesbian couples.

“In honor of Pride Week, we decided to challenge the government and allow couples to register on the basis of a declaration,” Huldai said on social media.

“We hope the government will also enter the 21st century and advance in law the rights of the [LGBT] community – the right to marry, to equal parenting, to protection from hate crimes, and workplace bullying and more,” he said.

In Israel, the state is not involved in marrying couples. Instead, the Chief Rabbinate marries Jewish couples. Members of other faiths also must seek a religious wedding. The Chief Rabbinate has refused to carry out same-sex or interfaith marriages. Heterosexual couples who do not wish to have a Rabbinate wedding must marry abroad and register their marriages in Israel.

Tel Aviv has a large LGBT community and its annual Pride Parade attracts over 200,000 people, the largest in Asia.