The first openly gay Likud MK, Amir Ohana, left the plenum Wednesday before votes were held on two bills that would grant added rights to gay people. Both bills failed to get a majority.
The first bill, presented by MK Revital Swed of the Zionist Union, would recognize the gay partner of an IDF person killed in action in the same way that a military widow is recognized, and grant him the same benefits. In addition, same-sex couples who raise a child who is killed in action would receive official recognition as bereaved parents and the concomitant benefits without having to undergo special bureaucratic or legal procedures.
The second bill, presented by MK Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union, would grant official recognition to a "covenant of partnership" as an alternative to marriage, and give such couples equal status to married couples.
MK Livni explained that the proposed covenant would be relevant for many groups, including immigrants who have not been recognized as Jews, citizens who are being refused conversion, secular people who do not want to undergo religious marriage and gay people.
Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant replied to Livni's bill on behalf of the government and said that the Minister of Religions opposes the Covenant of Partnership bill, and in accordance with the coalition agreement, so does the government.
Ohana left the plenum so as not to vote for or against the bills. "Even on a subject that has multi-partisan support and which unifies the entire state – bereavement and mourning – the Coalition does not stand beside the gay community. A son to gay parents can sacrifice his life for the state but it will not recognize one of his parents as being bereaved."
Two months ago, MK Ohana told Channel 2 that in case of a collision between the LGBT community's needs, and Coalition legislation decisions, he would choose loyalty to his party.