Shalom Life | September 02, 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.”

Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office TrendingAn Amulet a Son Gave to His Mother During the Holocaust Has Been Uncovered An Amulet a Son Gave to His Mother During the Holocaust Has Been Uncovered TrendingWhat You Missed in the News: August 25 - September 1 What You Missed in the News: August 25 - September 1 Trending
 

Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office

September 02, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office

72-year-old white supremacist John Beattie, who founded the Canadian Nazi party decades ago, is running for deputee reeve in the small cottage-country town of Minden Hills

Read More

Israeli Designer Showcased in New Hunger Games Film

September 02, 2014 | By Ynet News
Israeli Designer Showcased in New Hunger Games Film

One of the new characters to be introduced in Mockingjay will be wearing an Alon Livne dress

Read More

H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts

September 02, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts

The company's new clothing line borrows a thousands-year-old quote from Hillel the Elder: "If Not Now, When?"

Read More

Lea Michele to Join Season 4 of ‘American Horror Story’?

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lea Michele to Join Season 4 of ‘American Horror Story’?

The 'Glee' actress is rumored to join 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'.

Read More

Melissa Rivers is “Keeping Fingers Crossed” For Joan’s Recovery

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Melissa Rivers is “Keeping Fingers Crossed” For Joan’s Recovery

The 81-year-old comedian has been in a medically induced coma since Friday.

Read More

Lena Dunham: Leaking Nude Photos is a Sex Offense

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham: Leaking Nude Photos is a Sex Offense

The 'Girls' creator urges her fans not to look at the recently leaked nude photos of fellow celebrities.

Read More

Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars

September 01, 2014 | By Robert Gluck
Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars

Idan Ravin's new book, "The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball's Best Players," details his rise from a Jewish upbringing to becoming a well-respected figure in NBA circles

Read More

Israeli Company Hopes to Find Real Treatment for ALS

September 01, 2014 | By Maya Yarowsky and Anouk Lorie, NoCamels
Israeli Company Hopes to Find Real Treatment for ALS

BrainStorm looks beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge to treat Lou Gehrig's Disease with their NurOwn treatment

Read More

More Headlines