The Knesset voted down a bill applying family law to same-sex couples, following a heated debate on Wednesday.
“When there are two partners of the same sex, don’t the same complexities exist [as with heterosexual couples]? Is it appropriate to continue legally viewing them as two signatories on a contract who are quarreling?” MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who proposed the bill, asked in the plenum.
Horowitz accused the coalition of rejecting the bill out of fear of the words “same sex couple,” of ignorance and of cruelty.
“Luckily, the courts administration sends these cases to family courts anyway, but I am still bringing this proposal to the Knesset because there is no law requiring them to do so and no guarantee they will in the future,” the Meretz MK explained.
Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach responded: “Why do you think you support this bill for ideological reasons, but we oppose for political reasons? I ideologically oppose recognizing gay couples, and not only old-fashioned people like myself oppose it but also people who are more enlightened than I am.”
Orbach asked Horowitz why he does not see a moral problem with gay couples using surrogate mothers who tend to be impoverished women who, he said, are part of a “baby industry.”
“Your righteousness is very limited and your morality is narrow,” Orbach said.
“That is a lie,” Horowitz retorted. “You are brazenly misleading the Knesset. A minister cannot say he is not allowing certain citizens to have rights. There are thousands of gay families in Israel, and we will get recognition for all of them, whether you like it or not.”
The bill was voted down in its preliminary reading with 42 MKs opposed and 17 in favor.