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Court Rejects Application of Two Couples to Have Their ‘private’ Marriages Recognized

A Tel Aviv district court rejected the application of two Israeli couples yesterday to have their “private” marriages recognized. The couples, ILan Rogizinsky and Yael Tzahori of Kibbutz Evron and Danni and Tamar Shifonl, of Kibbutz Ein Dor, petitioned for recognition of their non-religious marriages on grounds that they are non-believers. They said that to require them to undergo marriage ceremonies performed by a rabbi according to Orthodox ritual amounted to religious coercion and violated their consciences. The court, obviously sympathetic to the couples, stated that Israeli law, which precludes civil marriage, is so clear on this point that even the plea of coercion Is insufficient to override it. They were advised to take their plea to “the forum of public opinion as a moulder of legislation.”