Israel: Civil Unions Bill Introduced

Written by scott on October 30th, 2013

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Israel’s Yesh Atid Party just introduced a bill to legalize civil unions for same sex couples.

Pink News reports:

The legislation aims to avoid the religious constrictions placed on marriage for straight couples, as well as to provide benefits to same-sex couples. Israel does not currently allow any civil unions, and according a New York Times report, experts have estimated that over recent years, a quarter of Jewish couples have left Israel to marry, or cohabit without marrying.

The 15-page legislation, introduced in the Knesset on Tuesday, avoids using the word “marriage”, but would allow equal benefits for those entering the civil unions. The legislation specifies the unions as between “two human beings”, therefore making same-sex couples eligible. “We have no argument or clash with the religious establishment, but we do need to provide a civic solution for every person, Jew or non-Jew, gay or straight,” Yair Lapid, Israel’s finance minister and chairman of Yesh Atid, said in a statement. “One of the fundamental human rights is the right to love in any way that one sees fit.”

In related news, a former head of Israel’s Supreme Court is pushing for full marriage equality.

Pink News reports:

In his new book entitled ‘Human Dignity: The Constitutional Right and its Derivatives’, Aharon Barak writes that the lack of marriage equality in Israel is a violation of ”human dignity.” Mr Barak was president of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Israel. Same-sex marriages are recognised in Israel, but must be conducted overseas as only the religious authorities: Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Druze can perform marriages, and none offer gay couples the chance to marry.

A modest step forward for Israel’s same sex couples.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.


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