Israeli Jewish support for same-sex marriage is at a record high

By June 13 2017, 10:50 Latest News No Comments

Tel Aviv Pride 2017A record number of 79% of Israeli Jews support allowing same-sex marriage or civil unions for gay couples, according to a poll commissioned by Israeli NGO Hiddush that was released on Thursday.

The percentage has increased significantly from just 53% in 2009, indicating growing tolerance in Israeli society as Tel Aviv marks its 20th annual Gay Pride event.

The Rafi Smith Polling Institute conducted a poll of 500 Israeli Jewish adults asking, “Do you think same-sex couples should be permitted to marry or have civil unions in Israel?”. Previously, support for same-sex unions was significantly higher amongst secular and left-wing Jews compared to the ultra-orthodox and right-wing communities.

The poll revealed that those in the middle of the political and religious spectrums had the largest support for LGBT marriage, with some 90% of “traditional, not close to religion” Israelis and 77% “traditional, close to religion” Israelis supporting gay marriage. Even among religious Zionists, who are typically opposed to promoting LGBT rights, the poll found that 47% were supportive of civil unions.

Around 200,000 people took to the streets to celebrate LGBT pride in Tel Aviv’s annual Pride Parade last week, the biggest event of its kind in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv is considered to host one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world and drew some 30,000 international tourists this year.

Israel is by far the most progressive state in the Middle East when it comes to human and civil rights for the LGBT community. By law, same-sex and heterosexual couples are entitled to the same financial rights. While there is currently no gay marriage in Israel, the state recognises civil unions and same-sex marriages performed abroad.

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