(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
The Knesset voted down two bills regarding civil unions and marriage on Wednesday with a majority vote of 50 to 39 for each bill.
The first bill, proposed by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie sought to create civil unions, an alternative for those who could not have their weddings officiated by the rabbinate or other religious authorities, such as gay couples, couples of different religions, a cohen and a divorcee, etc.
“We have to allow a civil alternative for all of the couples who do not want to go through the rabbinate,” Lavie said upon her submission of the bill this past June. “I believe that the path of civil unions will do civil justice and will lead more people to want to get married through the religious system, because it will have to make itself more efficient and be managed properly.”
The second bill, composed by Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On focused on the concept of civil marriages and divorces.
After Gal-On's bill was voted down on Wednesday , she said, "The Knesset turned their backs on the value of equality in order to please the religious parties that want to continue to dictate to the Israeli public how to marry and divorce."
Gal-On added that "two-thirds of Israelis support allowing civil marriage, it is inconceivable that Israel's citizens can not have a family recognized by the state."Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.