Israeli couple become first to be wed in civil union

Svetlana Sadigursky and Gabby Liebeschitz become on Tuesday evening the first Israeli couple ever to be wed locally in a civil union, in a modest ceremony in Jerusalem.
The civil union law, initiated by Israel Beiteinu's MK David Rotem and passed last year, enables non-Jewish Israelis, or citizens defined by the state as lacking religious denomination, to have a civil marriage in Israel and be recognized as a married couple.
Rotem's initial intention was that the law apply to any Israeli wishing to marry here without the Chief Rabbinate, but he was forced to back down due to opposition from haredi parties.
Twenty-five such couples meeting the criteria have already filed such a request, and Tuesday's was the first to pass all the necessary stages of the process, which include an examination of the local religious communities, to ensure that they are indeed without religion.