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Israeli PM Called 'Liar' After Voting for Antigay Surrogacy Law

Israeli PM Called 'Liar' After Voting for Antigay Surrogacy Law

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in a "march of rage" after the vote.

The prime minister of Israel was booed Wednesday, as he voted in favor of an antigay surrogacy bill in the Knesset, Israel's parliament

The controversial legislation, which passed by a vote of 59 to 52, gives state support to surrogacy for single women but not single men or same-sex couples. Previously, only married different-sex couples were eligible.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would support an amendment -- proposed by gay Amir Ohana, a member of Knesset from Netanyahu's own right-wing Likud party -- that would expand surrogacy rights to these latter two groups. "This is simply not fair, and we need to fix it," Netanyahu said Monday in a video, reports The Jerusalem Post.

After the vote, Netanyahu was called a "liar," a "coward," and "spineless" by members of the opposition, who believed the prime minister caved to antigay, religious members of the ruling conservative government.

"I have never said this before about a prime minister of Israel, but I have no choice: liar," said Yair Lapid, a member of the Knesset who leads the opposition Yesh Atid party.

In response, Netanyahu released a statement defending his vote and pledging to support future legislation that would legalize surrogacy rights for same-sex parents.

"Contrary to what was reported, I am entirely consistent on the issue of surrogacy," said Netanyahu, according to the Times of Israel. "I support surrogacy for both mothers and fathers."

"Today, we voted for the bill for mothers. I told MK Ohana in advance that I would not support his revision, as he has submitted to this bill, since it will topple this bill and then mothers would not receive surrogacy [rights]," he added.

Hundreds took to the streets of Tel Aviv in a "march of rage" after the vote, part of a weeklong series of protests regarding the antigay law. LGBT activists are encouraging concerned parties to shutter businesses and boycott work on Sunday.

"According to the prime minister's fluent English we are in an LGBTQ paradise, but in reality our lives do not allow us to marry, we are not allowed to have children, and if we have already succeeded, we are overwhelmed by unnecessary difficulties," said Hen Arieli, chairman of the LGBTQ Association, during a separate march Saturday that drew thousands of LGBT activists. "There is a limit to how much 'no' we can hear, and we will not remain silent until the discrimination ends."

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