Israel: Knesset Rejects Marriage Equality Bill
Knesset Rejects Marriage Equality Bill
By Lahav Harkov
May 16, 2012
“Freedom of Choice in Marriage” bill fails; Meretz calls rabbinate and halacha extremist, dark, anachronistic, chauvinist.
The Knesset voted down a bill on Wednesday that would allow same-sex, as well as interfaith couples to wed.
The legislation, by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) opens the option of civil marriages for those who may not be wed according to halacha (Jewish law), as well as those who choose not to be married by the Chief Rabbinate. It was rejected, with 39 MKs opposed and 11 in favor.
Horowitz said there are tens of thousands of homosexual couples in Israel, and his law would help them and others who cannot exercise the basic right to be married and build a family.
‘There is an extremist, dark institution deciding who may or may not get married,’ the Meretz MK said. ‘The public is sick of the rabbinate.’
According to Horowitz, coalition parties betrayed their secular voters by rejecting the bill, choosing to pander to haredi (ultra-orthodox) parties, instead.
Horowitz’s ‘Freedom of Choice in Marriage’ bill would allow for any couple that is not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate to have a civil marriage. This includes same-sex marriages, as well as marriage between Jews and gentiles. — JPost 5/16/12