Israeli Panel Set to Discuss Bill Banning Discrimination Against LGBT Community

The bill, submitted by MK Nitzan Horowitz, would add wording prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual identity to all existing anti-discrimination legislation.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss on Sunday a revolutionary bill banning all forms of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

The bill, submitted by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), would amend all of Israel's existing anti-discrimination laws to include a prohibition on discrimination against people for reasons of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Gay march - Fitoussi - 2.2012
Olivier Fitoussi

Horowitz said he was leading the move "as someone who represents a huge community that still suffers from harassment and a lack of full civil equality." He added that the bill carried educational and social significance, in addition to its legal implications.

Noting that a number of Knesset parties had recently set up groups representing LGBT constituencies, Horowitz said, "The real test of commitment to the gay community is whether [the parties] support clear legislation that advances equal rights and fights violence and discrimination."

A number of laws against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation have been passed in Israel over the years. Horowitz's bill would expand the wording of all such laws to include discrimination based on gender and sexual identity.

The Knesset plenum is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday. Horowitz promised over the weekend that he would work to expose the identities of Knesset members and ministers who vote against the law.