First-term Meretz MK to Present Bill for Gay and Civil Marriages

Bill would allow marriage or civil union between any two people regardless of religion or gender.

Incoming Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz on Monday announced plans to bring to the Knesset as early as next week a bill that would allow marriages or civil unions between two partners regardless of their religion, ethnic background, or gender.

Horowitz said his plan would counter one put forward by Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman, which only applies to couples that cannot get married through the rabbinate, and will not include couples from the homosexual community.

Horowitz explained that in recent years, same-sex couples have received widespread legal recognition in all aspects of life outside of marriage, and that if Lieberman's proposal is approved, it will spell the swan song for same-sex marriage, by outlining all legal unions as only between a man and a woman.

The plan put forward by the openly gay Meretz MK would allow Israelis to marry in civil ceremonies without involving the rabbinate at all, while Lieberman's plan would allow them to marry through their local rabbinate, but not without the approval of the religious authorities.

Horowitz said that Lieberman's proposal, which would put marriage into the authority of local Rabbinical councils and not the national council, would still force hundreds of thousands of Israelis who want to avoid getting married by the Rabbinate to have to do so regardless.