Nitzan Horowitz

On the Steps of Boorishness (2013)

Every year, thousands of Israeli couples do what we are doing—marry unofficially as couples who

cannot or do not want to marry through the rabbinate’s coercive establishment. Because Israel has no civil marriage, no marriage of same-sex couples, there is no freedom of choice in marriage here. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens are denied this basic right. They are forced to go abroad, to spend thousands of dollars, to struggle with legal headaches, to face the harassment of...bureaucrats and eventually someone has the audacity to accuse us of “destroying the Jewish people”—as some people from the right-wing parties have done.

The kind of person who speaks this way, someone who does this, is someone who actually rejects Judaism. These are people who spread hatred and evil. So here we are, with couples who have chosen a different path, and say “no” to coercion. People who stand up for their rights, who will not give up, and are fighting, and are succeeding. And it’s the most beautiful thing to see. This joint wedding in my eyes symbolizes openness and tolerance, and especially a love that transcends all boundaries and breaks all the walls of indifference...Therefore, on this beautiful day, January 3, in the free city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, I declare that: In accordance with the authority and rights inherent in every person on the basis of the universal values of freedom, equality, and fraternity...On the basis of human rights and dignity—for all human beings—rights specified in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and in accord with the constitutional principles of the laws of the State of Israel and our Basic Laws...On the basis of pluralistic Judaism, of tolerant Judaism, of a Judaism of “love thy neighbor,” a Judaism of healing the individual and healing the world [tikkun olam], And of course based on the principles of Meretz, the party that always has and will fight for the rights of all humans and citizens, I pronounce you, amid all of us gathered together here, as equal citizens enveloped within love’s gates— hand in hand— In good times, in happiness, and in health. Congratulations!

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