Year 24
Month 06
Day 07
Gay & Lesbian in Israel

There are over 18,000 gay and lesbian households in Israel and over 3,000 children are raised by two fathers or mothers. Tel Aviv has the second fastest growing gay family population in the world. It’s not just Tel Aviv. Israeli society as a whole is relatively tolerant considering its religious values. For example, gays, lesbians, and transgender people serve openly in the Israeli military, and the government funds LGBT centers throughout the country. According to a recent poll, 70% of Israelis support equality for the gay community, and 59% support same-sex marriage.


According to a survey 67 percent of participants identified as “exclusively heterosexual,” while only 3 percent said they were “exclusively homosexual.” The answers from the remaining 30 percent said they identified as being in between being exclusively heterosexual or homosexual.The long-standing rule of thumb is that 10 percent of the population is gay, give or take. The estimate by officials in Tel Aviv is 25 percent of its population is gay.



Law of LGBT in Israel

During the last 26 years, gay emancipation in Israel has made huge progress. Back in 1963, Israel nullified its sodomy laws, and in 1988 legalized same-sex sexual relations. In 1992 the Knesset passed legislation against employment discrimination of gays, in 1993 openly gay Israelis were included in the draft, and, also in 1993, the first "gay pride" parade took place in Tel Aviv. From 2000, same-sex partners were recognized as adoptive parents and although Israeli law does not allow gay marriage, it has recognized gay marriages abroad since 2006. Currently, all Israeli marriages are legally valid only if they are conducted in formal state religious institutions, whether through the Jewish rabbinate, Muslim sharia institutions, Catholic canon courts or a handful of other recognized, state-funded religious denominations. The law prevents hundreds of thousands of people who are not recognized as Jewish under rabbinical law from marrying under law, as well as homosexual couples and others who do not wish to have a rabbinic marriage. As of today, their only recourse is to marry in a foreign country. But there is no doubt that Israel is the most tolerant of gays in the Middle East.


Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv is one of tolerance aspect of gays in Israel,parade now in its 17th year, drew an estimated 180,000 people on Friday, making it the largest gay pride parade in all of Asia and the Middle East. Considering that the entire population of Tel Aviv is just 420,000, this turnout is proportionately higher than the 2 million who march in the annual pride parade in New York, a city of 8.5 million. Among the parade’s participants were drag queens and bikini-clad men and women – but also some you might not expect, including government ministers, political party representatives, teens, kids and families.
 This tolerance is not shared by the whole nation. Only 65 kilometers from this gay Mecca, a hate crime disrupted the Jerusalem Gay Pride of 30 July 2015. As thousands of people marched through the streets, an ultra-orthodox Jewish man suddenly broke through the crowd and stabbed several of the participants. Although he was quickly wrestled to the ground and arrested by police, he wounded six. One of the victims, 16-year-old Shira Banki, was severely injured. She died from her wounds two days later.



Away from the social acceptance and unacceptance, statistics indicates that the majority of gay men are carriers of AIDS which threaten Israeli society .According to Director of the HIV/AIDS Center Dr. Itzchak Levy estimates that one out of every 10 gay men in Tel Aviv is infected with HIV, and that every week at least three gay men are infected with the virus.The number of new HIV infections in Israel has been rising for several years. About 30 percent of the new carriers are men who have sex with men, compared to just 10 percent in 2002.A total of 8,448 HIV carriers were reported in Israel between 1981 and 2014, 23.9 percent of them male homosexuals.In 2014, 43.8% of all men who were reported as new carriers were homosexuals.

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