Finance Minister Yair Lapid is working to build a “coalition within the
coalition” to create a civil alternative to religious marriage in Israel,
including same-sex marriage.
In a question and answer session on his
Facebook page Thursday night, Lapid told a questioner that he was “definitely”
planning on advancing the civil marriage issue.
“I’m a big supporter of
civil marriage,” Lapid said. “We’re working to create a coalition within the
coalition. Yisrael Beytenu is for it, other parties less. We’ll battle for this
and work for it without stop, for civil marriage, including marriages for
same-sex couples in Israel, simply because it’s the just and right thing to
“The rabbinate can’t have a monopoly on marriage and divorce,” he
added. “People need there to be an alternative.”
On Thursday, the bill was submitted to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation by MK Merav Michaeli (Labor) seeking to give the same-sex couples with children equal rights to heterosexual parents.
Michaeli’s bill makes it easier for a
non-biological parent to be legally considered an infant’s mother or father soon
after he or she is born, implementing a recommendation by Attorney-General
Yehuda Weinstein from last week.
“Aside from the fact that there is no
justification for discriminating against homosexual couples, this bill is
concerned with the welfare of children, whose parents will have that legal
status from the first day without having to go through anunnecessary adoption process,” Michaeli explained.
The Labor MK said it
is the legislature’s responsibility to not wait for a court case to require this
change to be made.
Last Sunday, Weinstein announced a policy shift on how
the state addresses homosexual parenthood of children born through surrogate
According to the current policy, a member of a homosexual
couple who is the child’s biological father must pass a paternity test. The
second man in the couple must go through a lengthy process to legally adopt the
child, which can take as long as three years.
Weinstein recommended that
once the biological father passes a paternity test, the family courts
immediately issue a special parenthood order for the second man, granting them
both full parental rights and powers at a much earlier point.
Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.