Support for equal marriage surges in Israel, according to this poll

A new poll has found that 76% of Israelis support same-sex civil marriage or registration.

The poll, conducted by the Smith Polling Institute for pressure group Hiddush, asked: “In your opinion, should civil marriage/civil partnerships be available for same-sex couples?”

Public support for same-sex marriages has increased significantly from 64% in September last year.

Hiddush director Rabbi Uri Regev told the Israel Times: “The survey results are a source of pride and a badge of honour for the Israeli public during Pride Month, but the political and legal reality in Israel is shameful.”

When broken down into religious beliefs ,the survey showed that 90% of secular Israelis support marriage equality for same-sex couples. 77% of traditional Jewish, 46% of national religious Jewish and 16% of Haredi ultra-orthodox supported the movement towards equal rights for same-sex couples.

On the political spectrum, 90% of people affiliated with the Kulanu party agreed that LGBT couples should have access to marriage and civil partnerships. 80% of Yisrael Beiteinu voters, 74% of Likud and 57% of Habayit Hayehudi voters also agreed marriage should be available.

80% of people who approved same-sex marriage believed that couple should get the same rights and benefits as heterosexual marriages.

However, the poll’s sample size was small – with 500 people surveyed.

While overseas same-sex marriages are recognised by the Israeli state, there is no way to actually enter them inside Israel, as marriage is entirely overseen by religious courts with no civil alternative.

Only Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Druze religious authorities can perform marriages, and none offer gay couples the chance to marry.

Like mixed faith straight couples, gay couples must marry in another country such as France or Canada, but once they do, they are recognised as a married couple in the Jewish state.

The survey contacted 500 people through telephone just days before the Tel Aviv pride celebrations last week. Thousands of tourists visited the capital to join in celebrations and they were joined by a number of notable celebrities including Lea Delaria.