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Israel Rejects Gay Marriage

Israel Rejects Gay Marriage

Israel’s parliament has rejected a marriage equality bill put forward by a gay MP.

The bill put forward by Nitzan Horowitz, of the left-wing Meretz party, would have allowed same-sex as well as inter-faith couples to wed. Marriage in Israel is an exclusively religious affair.

Horowitz said the coalition government had betrayed secular voters by pandering to right-wing religious extremists.

Horowitz wrote on his Facebook page:

Here, there is no civil marriage here at all, and hundred of thousands of Israelis – not only gay men and lesbians – can not get married here because of the unbearable religious coercion. This can change.

The bill was backed by the liberal newspaper Haaretz, which argued that “there is no justification for preventing the conferral of such rights to one segment of the population.”

The bill’s rejection follows comments by U.S. President Barack Obama in support of same-sex marriage sparking a debate among Israeli ministers and MKs (members of parliament).

There is no civil marriage in Israel for Jews. The rabbinate, which has jurisdiction over the marriage and divorce of Jews, does not recognize gay marriage. The Interior Ministry, however, is required to register same-sex marriages performed abroad following a 2006 Supreme Court decision. Same-sex couples in Israel can access nearly all of the rights of marriage in the form of unregistered cohabitation status, akin to common-law marriage.

According to Dan Littauer, executive editor of Gay Middle East news website, progress for LGBT people in Israel has almost exclusively come through the courts rather than through legislative action.

Gay Middle East editor in Israel, Shabi Gatenio, told Gay Star News that the Israeli government has been rejecting gay rights for decades:

“It is a hypocrisy,” he said, “that this government, this prime minister and foreign minister have objected to every pro-gay law we have wanted to pass but are flagging up its positive record on gay rights abroad.”

According to a 2009 poll, 61% of Israelis support marriage equality.

Related stories:

Italian Political Party: “Say Yes” to Gay Marriage

Half of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage

Gay Marriage, African-Americans and Obama

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73 comments

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7:33PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Not surprising, look how they treat the Palestinians. Of course any country that is being run by religious rather than secular law is going to have a culture of ignorance, bigotry, repression and fear. It goes with the territory. Whether it is Jewish, Islamic or Christian, society will not be able to move forward until religion is properly relegated to being just another human folly.

3:33AM PDT on May 20, 2012

Hilary S - "homosexuality is itself treated as a criminal hanging offence in most of israel's neighbouring muslim countries, (including among the palestinians)"

And Muriel C - "the religious authorities hand out the fatwas based on the Sharia (gay men are castrated and hanged) and the sentence can be carried out by any Muslim adult male."

As one who has travelled extensively in: Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Iran and Pakistan (amongst other countries) I can only say I must have been meeting some very real ghosts.
They seemed very alive to me, but as you must be speaking the truth I will just have to accept that I'm a medium with some exceptional abilities.
Would you like me to tell your fortunes? (

4:59PM PDT on May 19, 2012

So sad....bigotry is alive and well in so many forms in so many places. Even those that have been the target of bigotry and genocide still can't get past their own bigotry.

1:01PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Just like the NAZI'S!

9:40AM PDT on May 19, 2012

@John

But he does not say they are gay. All your quotes are from the contextualising.

If you have a situation as it is, as the HRW report says, then no mistreatment of gays in Iran can ever be reported because the country will say it is rape! And you and others fearful of another war will say yep! Must be rape. How dare you even report this case. Only warmongerers report this information.

This report, as with others, is straight down the line reporting. It is YOU who are saying this leads to bombing Iran and therefore must not be reported. Journalism must be stopped.

As I have said to you before, it is up to NGOs to fund the extremely difficult work of getting the evidence. There is a new report out, which I will report, which shows what life is like there. It follows on from the reports of exiles, which I have previously covered elsewhere, such as the bizzaroworld forced gender conversions. It quotes at length actual Iranians.

Is that not happening John? Are these people all in the pay of the CIA?

Are you seriously trying to tell me that the Basij have never raped a man? Or that the religious judiciary have never hanged a gay man? Seriously? Yes, we know bullet-proof proof is hard to come by -- that's the problem, it's not that we can't believe that these f*ckers wouldn't do it.

9:17AM PDT on May 19, 2012

noted-thanks

7:33AM PDT on May 19, 2012

John D. Hilary is actually right. If there are no laws in the books targeting gay people in Muslim countries, it's because they aren't necessary: the religious authorities hand out the fatwas based on the Sharia (gay men are castrated and hanged) and the sentence can be carried out by any Muslim adult male. The grandson of Omar Sharif (a well known Egyptian actor) just obtained the status of refugee in Israel because of the death threats after he came out. As I said before, there is no civil marriage available in Israel at all, but all civil marriages contracted in other countries are recognized. Couples who are unwed, or who went abroad to marry, are frequent in Israel and gay Israeli only face discrimination among the Haredi (an extreme fanatic sect which doesn't recognize the Israeli civil government and refuses to serve in the military).

7:06AM PDT on May 19, 2012

Beverly C -
Well it's not anymore, and it certainly won't be in the future. Please get the fuck off this site.

6:51AM PDT on May 19, 2012

One day gay marriage will be accepted as a normal all over the world. However there is always that one country that refuses to conform..

6:50AM PDT on May 19, 2012

"According to a 2009 poll, 61% of Israelis support marriage equality." - And that percentage only goes up as people begin to accept a difference that not only causes no harm to others but is a basic human right and freedom.

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