Spurred by Obama, MK files marriage equality bill (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 05/11/12)
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Inspired by US President Barack Obama´s declaration of support for
same-sex marriages, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) resubmitted his
marriage equality bill, which will be brought to a vote in the
Knesset next week.
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.
On Monday, Obama said in an interview with ABC: "It is important for
me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be
able to get married."
"Hundreds of thousands of Israelis cannot realize their right to be
married in their own country, and must be wed abroad, which is very
expensive, all because of blatant religious coercion," Horowitz said.
The Meretz MK pointed out that many immigrants from the Former Soviet
Union are not considered Jewish by the rabbinate, and cannot marry
Jews in Israel.
"A democratic country cannot withhold a basic right from its
citizens, like the right to get married and start a family," Horowitz
added. "This is intolerable discrimination, which is unacceptable and
must be put to an end."
According to Horowitz, the bill is a challenge to the new Likud-
Kadima coalition, as earlier ministers could cite haredi parties as a
reason to stop the legislation.
Horowitz has submitted the bill twice before, and it was rejected in
its preliminary reading both times.
When the proposal was brought to a vote in July 2011, MK Orit Zuarets
wore a wedding gown in the plenum, but had to remove her veil.
At the time, Zuarets explained that about 3,500 Israelis marry in
Cyprus every year, saying that the bill is not against Judaism. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/11/12)
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