Liberals to Press for Civil Marriage

The Executive of the Independent Liberal Party, a coalition partner, announced this morning that it would go ahead with plans to submit a bill providing civil marriage for Jews who are denied religious marriages because of some disqualification under halachic (religious) law. The decision followed last night’s refusal by the Knesset Labor Alignment to grant the ILP permission to submit such a bill. The Alignment maintained that questions of personal status come under the exclusive jurisdiction of the religious courts.

The ILP contends that its bill, drawn up by Gideon Hausner, does not violate the Coalition Platform as it would apply only to cases which the rabbinical courts refuse to handle. In the past prospective partners to such marriages have gone abroad to wed and their marriages were then recognized under Israeli Civil Law, the ILP said.

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