Ministers Defeat Gay Rights Bills on Eve of Knesset LGBT Rights Day

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted down three bills on Sunday, February 19, concerning the status of the LGBT community in Israel and postponed the vote on two others, just a day before the Knesset would mark LGBT Rights Day.

Hadash activists during a Gay Pride parade in Haifa

Hadash activists during a Gay Pride parade in Haifa (Photo: Hadash Red-Pink Forum)

One of the bills, sponsored by MK Yael German (Yesh Atid), would have banned bigoted catcalls at sporting events based on gender identity or sexual preference; another, sponsored by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz), would have required training for educational professionals on the issues of gender and sexual preference; and the third, sponsored by Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List), would have banned discrimination against students based on gender of sexual preference. The ministerial votes on two other bills, one banning conversion therapy for minors, and one on civil unions, were postponed for a week.

“It is saddening and outrageous that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu uses LGBT rights only for purposes of promoting foreign relations, and only when it is convenient,” said Khenin. “The far-right Netanyahu coalition specializes in legislation that creates discrimination and inequality toward everyone who does not think like them,” he concluded.