Shalom Life | July 24, 2014

Member of Knesset Files Marriage Equality Bill

MK Horowitz’ bill inspired by Obama’s historic pro same-sex marriage stance

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: May 10th, 2012 in News » Israel

Member of Knesset Files Marriage Equality Bill

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) resubmitted a marriage equality bill on Thursday, less than 24 hours after US President Barack Obama said he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Dubbed the “Freedom of Choice in Marriage” bill, Horowitz’ proposal would allow for any couple that is not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate to have a civil marriage in Israel. This would include marriages between same-sex couples and between Jews and gentiles.

“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.

“A democratic country cannot withhold a basic right from its citizens, like the right to get married and start a family. This is intolerable discrimination, which is unacceptable and must be put to an end.”

Horowitz pointed out that this bill would benefit many immigrants from the Former Soviet Union who are not considered Jewish by the rabbinate, and therefore cannot currently marry Jews in Israel.

Horowitz has submitted the same bill twice before, but both times it was rejected in its preliminary reading.

On Wednesday, Obama became the first US president to publicly express his support for gay marriage.

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.

Israel’s LGBT community reacted positively to Obama’s stance, offering plenty of praise for the US president.

“It is a huge step for the enlightened world that the strongest leader publicly recognizes the new family. In doing so, he is obviously posing a challenge to the world’s religious public,” said Irit Rosenblum, founder and CEO of New Family, an organization in Israel devoted to equal family rights.

According to the organization, there are currently 18,000 same-sex families living in Israel. Approximately 4,500 children are being raised in same-sex families.

“I think that this is certainly a very brave act. He is creating the necessary world balance. At a time when it seems the world is becoming increasingly fundamentalist and conservative, this is a liberal point of light.”

Itay Pinkas, chairman of Tel Aviv's gay community center was also pleased with Obama’s decision.

“The only two leaders to bring up the rights of the community in a congressional speech were Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu,” he told Haaretz.

“Obama spoke of the importance of equality during his inauguration speech…he is one of the heads of state most supportive of equality for all citizens.”

Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign TrendingHoward Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] Howard Stern Goes On Pro-Israel Rant [VIDEO] TrendingRon Dermer: Give the IDF A Nobel Peace Prize Ron Dermer: Give the IDF A Nobel Peace Prize Trending
 

Shaw Festival Review: THE SEA

July 23, 2014 | By Hermine Steinberg
Shaw Festival Review: THE SEA

The Sea is a well acted, interesting play that at times tries too hard to make a point we know all too well.

Read More

Billy Joel To Be Honored With Gershwin Prize By Library Of Congress

July 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Billy Joel To Be Honored With Gershwin Prize By Library Of Congress

The 'Piano Man' will receive the prize in Washington this November.

Read More

Jon Stewart Launches $10 Billion Kickstarter Page to Buy CNN

July 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Jon Stewart Launches $10 Billion Kickstarter Page to Buy CNN

'The Daily Show' host isn't sure what he'll do with the network once it's purchased.

Read More

Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Nightcrawler’ Gets First Trailer [VIDEO]

July 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Nightcrawler’ Gets First Trailer [VIDEO]

Dan Gilroy's debut film will premiere at TIFF in September

Read More

Jewish Hall Of Fame: Neil Diamond

July 23, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall Of Fame: Neil Diamond

The Grammy-award winning singer is the third most successful adult contemporary artist on the Billboard charts behind Barbra Streisand and Elton John

Read More

James Franco’s ‘Of Mice And Men’ Is Coming To a Theatre Near You

July 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
James Franco’s ‘Of Mice And Men’ Is Coming To a Theatre Near You

The popular Broadway production is set to be filmed for a wider audience

Read More

Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO]

July 23, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Jon Stewart Parodies His Critics for Calling Him “Pro-Hamas” [VIDEO]

Stewart has been in political hot water since last week's show where he called out Israel for how its handling the crisis in Gaza

Read More

Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign

July 23, 2014 | By Peter Herriman & Daniel Koren
Belgian Café Posts "No Jews Allowed" Sign

The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism has since filed a complaint against the parties responsible

Read More

More Headlines