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Obama Spurs Israeli Debate on Gay Marriage

Comments by President Barack Obama in support of same-sex marriage in an ABC News interview on Wednesday have sparked debate in among Israeli ministers and MKs, and also among U.S. Jewish groups.

Speaking to a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group within the Likud party on Thursday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Israel is unlikely to recognize same-sex marriage in the foreseeable future, but said that he was reconsidering his opposition to such a measure.

Steinitz said, referring to a possible move to support same-sex marriage here, “I don’t see that happening in the State of Israel in the near future.” He did, however, tell 25 members of the Likud LGBT group, established five months ago, that he was reconsidering his opposition to such a measure.

“Today, I understand that issue much more than in the past. I’m not totally against it like I used to, but I’m not saying I’m totally for it,” he added.

When one participant asked Steinitz whether he would be the first Likud minister to come to Tel Aviv’s annual gay pride parade the finance minister was visibly embarrassed. He told aides to note the date but made no promises.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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