(JNS.org) A new survey conducted by the Smith Polling Institute for the Hiddush pluralism group, and released ahead of Tel Aviv’s annual gay pride parade this week, shows that 76 percent of Jewish Israelis support some form of legalized same-sex partnerships—a significant increase from the same poll last year.
Last year's survey found only 64-percent support for same-sex unions among Jewish Israelis. In this year's poll—conducted May 24-25 through telephone calls with 500 respondents—16 percent of haredi-Jewish respondents said that gay partners should be allowed to register as a couple in Israel. Further, 31 percent of haredi respondents said that such unions should have the same legal rights as heterosexual partnerships. Nevertheless, 58 percent of the haredi Jews surveyed still opposed legalized same-sex marriage in Israel. Among national-religious Jews in Israel, 70 percent said homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual married couples.
“The survey results are a source of pride and a badge of honor for the Israeli public during Pride Month, but the political and legal reality in Israel is shameful,” said Rabbi Uri Regev, Hiddush's director.
"The data prove that the establishment of legal marriage for same-sex couples and religious freedom in general have practically become the public consensus of the Israeli Jewish population. The public's will has never been translated into legislation because all successive Israeli governments, from both the left and the right, have instead traded away the public's freedom of marriage and divorce to the Orthodox parties in exchange for their political support,” Regev added.