Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid agreed to an alternative version of a bill by MK Adi
Kol (Yesh Atid) Tuesday, giving gay parents a tax break without recognizing
The bill, in its original version recognizing gay
partnerships, will go to a preliminary vote Wednesday, after which it will be
taken to a Knesset committee that according to an agreement between the parties,
will change its text to one of the alternatives suggested by Bayit Yehudi –
which vetoed Kol’s proposal – before it is brought to another vote.
bill in question, proposed by Kol, gives male homosexual couples an equal tax
break for having children as that enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Currently, a
tax benefit is given to women with children in order to encourage them to join
Bayit Yehudi vetoed the legislation, with faction
chairwoman Ayelet Shaked saying it would mean the government is recognizing gay
partnerships as a family unit for the first time – and that such changes must be
made by consensus in the coalition.
On Tuesday, Bayit Yehudi offered
several alternatives in order for male gay parents will get the same tax break
as heterosexual parents, without the law recognizing their
One would be for all parents, regardless of gender, to
receive half of the tax break currently granted to women. The party called it
the most egalitarian proposal, though it undermines the purpose of the tax
break: to encourage women to work.
Another is for a set of parents to get
a set, combined tax break and for the finance minister to pass regulations, and
not a law, for extenuating circumstances.
Earlier Tuesday, Finance
Minister Yair Lapid threatened to take the bill to a full government vote, as
Bayit Yehudi rejected the Ministerial Committee on Legislation’s approval on
grounds that it changes the status quo in matters of religion and state, in
which all coalition parties have veto power.
“I’ll ask them to explain
how this is a matter of religion and state. If this is religion and state, then
we can veto anything on any topic and claim it’s religion and state,” Lapid told
“I don’t understand how someone can vote against this and say
‘I think children should be punished because their children are part of the LGBT
[lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community,’” he added.
Yehudi found other problems with Kol’s bill, beyond the fact that it recognizes
gay marriage. The party says the initiative gives male homosexual parents
greater benefits than straight ones.
For example, it allows gay couples
to choose which parent receives the tax break, while straight families lose the
benefit if the mother does not earn enough to get it. In addition, if two men
are in a partnership and only one is legally recognized as a parent, he can
still get the tax break, whereas a widower or other single father cannot, since
it is a benefit meant for women.