Knesset panel’s debate on civil unions postponed over language


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee debate on a bill to recognize civil unions, including for same-sex couples, was postponed indefinitely.

Saying there was no agreement in his coalition on the wording of the bill, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pushed off the debate in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Interfaith and same-sex couples are unable to marry officially in Israel. The civil marriage bill would give such couples equal rights to married couples without calling their union a marriage.

The Jewish Home party is expected to oppose the bill, but it is unclear if its lawmakers will vote against the measure, according to Haaretz. The Yesh Atid party has said it will only approve the legislation if it provides civil union for same-sex couples.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and members of her Hatnua party are working to amend the words “man and a woman” with “couple” in the bill in order to provide a civil union also for same-sex couples.

Recommended from JTA