Blue and White leader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz proposed an amendment on Monday to approve civil marriage in Israel, in a move viewed as an effort to boost his popularity five weeks before the March 23 elections, with polls showing Blue and White failing to cross the electoral threshold.
Gantz, who is currently also serving as justice minister, has received the approval of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for the amendment.
Although the bill is meant to ease difficulties during the pandemic for couples who normally must fly abroad to get married, the change to Israel’s marriage registry system would be permanent. If approved, the bill would grant state approval to marriages of same-sex and interfaith couples.
The bill is unlikely to pass as the religious parties and the Likud will oppose it.
Last week, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called on Gantz to drop out of the race in the wake of his party’s poor performance in the polls so as not to waste votes.
Lapid’s call was echoed this week by a member of his party, MK Ram Ben-Barak, who said that Gantz should take responsibility and quit the race so as not to waste center-left votes.
“If Gantz runs, he’s risking the chance of forming a government without Netanyahu,” Ben-Barak told Radio 103FM.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)