Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: AFP

Justice minister to propose civil marriage solution

Yaakov Ne'eman to present ministers Tuesday with new review of Yisrael Beiteinu bill, idea calling for magistrate to oversee special marriage registry. Lieberman: Move will solve a fundamental problem in Israeli society

Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman has prepared a brief concerning civil marriage in Israel, which states that it should be made possible for couples who are either not Jewish or are consider to have no religious denomination.


The brief, drawn up as part of Yisrael Beiteinu's coalition agreement with the Likud, reviews a previous bill proposed to the Knesset by Yisrael Beiteinu and is expected to be presented to the government on Tuesday.


The coalition agreement between the two parties stipulated that the government must push for a law regulating marriage for non-Jewish couples.


Ne'eman's brief, which concerns those who are not defined by the State as Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze of Circassian – but are citizens or permanent residents of Israel – proposes a magistrate be appointed to oversee the appropriate marriage registry.


The majority of non-Jews in the country are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who were determined "nationless," hence have no denomination, since they did not know what was their religious affiliation.


Yisrael Beiteinu said Ne'eman's proposal was of "historic" significance, since it would allow non-denomination couple to enjoy all the rights given to married one.


The civil marriage bill was originally brought before the Knesset by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Knesset Member David Rotem, both of Yisrael Beiteinu, but was rejected by a vote of 38 to 63.


"This (brief) is the first step towards full legislation," said Lieberman. "Once it is completed it will be of great importance for the Israeli society. The civil marriage law is meant to solve a fundamental problem within Israel, and to put a stop to the discrimination of an entire sector which gives to this country and is an important part of it."


Tal Rabinovsky contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.30.09, 09:01
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