State May Pay Israelis Forced by Religious Restrictions to Wed Abroad

Bill stipulates the government would return expenses to any couple in which one member is an Israeli citizen.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will deliberate today over a bill requiring the state to return expenses of couples forced to wed abroad due to religious restrictions against them marrying in Israel.

The bill, initiated by MK Nitzan Horowitz (New Movement-Meretz) and other Meretz and Kadima MKs, stipulates that the government would return expenses to any couple in which at least one member is a citizen and resident of Israel, but who are prohibited for reasons of religion or conscience from marrying in the country.

"When hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens are not allowed to wed in Israel due to religious coercion, it is a violation of a fundamental right recognized in virtually every country in the world," Horowitz said. "We must not accept this anymore. That's why as long as the state refuses to allow its citizens to marry in their own country, it must pay the expenses incurred by the need to marry abroad. Citizens who want to fulfill their rights to marriage and family in their own country don't need to pay the price for religious coercion."