Percent non-heterosexual (Males, Females) ...
Based on partners from past year:
Cath: 4, 3
Prot: 4, 3
Jew: 11, 3
None: 8, 9
Based on partners from past 5 years:
Cath: 4, 4
Prot: 4, 4
Jew: 9, 4
None: 8, 10
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.There has been more "progress" ever since, and it isn't moving in a straight direction.
It is true that Israel is far more tolerant of homosexuals compared to other countries in the region. How do they compared to the west in terms of overall gayness and tolerance?
There is definitely some degree of variance in the rate of homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality in different population groups. It's possible Jews have a greater tendency to be bisexual, but...
These results seem quite silly, and certainly not anything akin to a smoking gun. A similar poll was carried out in both the UK and the U.S. The results were similar in the U.S., and the UK had a massive 50% identifying as some form of bisexual! It's using the Kinsey Scale, ranked from 0 to 6. 0 being heterosexual, 1-5 being on the bisexual spectrum, and 6 being homosexual.
I don't really think the results are credible. Being "open" to bisexuality isn't the same as being bisexual, and it doesn't really mean those polled would engage in homosexual behavior. It might be as simple as a girl thinking another girl is attractive, so they mark down 1-2, and then you have an inflated bisexuality score.
Frankly, it's probably not worth counting unless they have had homosexual sex at least once (like in the dataset in the first section). There seems to be a trend of women claiming to be lesbian who are really not lesbians at all.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find much else that was more reliable.
Unregistered cohabitation does occur for homosexuals, though it is unclear if the entitlements of their partnership extends to all cases; it appears to be tied to whether or not recognition or a lack thereof would violate "their right to equal opportunity at work." They will also recognize marriages that occurred outside of Israel.
Civilian support for same-sex marriages and civil unions is quite high at 76%, an increase over previous years, according to a 2016 poll. It went up to 79% in 2017. It's possible the sample sizes are too small (one survey was a meager 500) or non-representative; I could definitely see them oversampling non-religious Jews—perhaps these polls are even meant as propaganda to normalize homosexuality in Israel.
Same-sex couples can adopt in Israel. One poll found 60% of Israelis support same sex adoption.
5% of the Knesset is openly gay.
It’s a welcoming destination for residents of less hospitable territories. The government funds the massive Pride celebration, along with the Tel Aviv Municipal LGBT Community Center. The center hosts a gay parents support group, a queer cinema workshop, painting lessons, a kindergarten, a medical clinic, performance space, and nearly any other service you can imagine.
A majority of Israelis support a "pluralistic and open value system," which includes openness to LGBT soldiers, for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). For the secular portion of the population, 81% supported this initiative, as opposed to only 29% for the Haredim—however, that is rather high for the so-called "ultra-orthodox" Jews.
A staged pro-gay photo op for the IDF's Facebook
It's safe to say the IDF is pretty gay. Looking through Times of Israel's articles with the search term "IDF GAY SOLDIERS" makes this observation even more flagrant. Homosexuals have been able to serve openly since 1993 (as opposed to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy previously employed in the U.S.), and they even ranked within the top 10 among a bunch of liberal western countries for inclusion of gay and lesbian service members.
The IDF was at one point more progressive than the U.S. military, though I'm not sure if that's still the case, given how woke the U.S. military has become as of late.
IDF soldiers attending a gay pride parade
The IDF is a model of progressivism, and civil society in Israel is not generally as pro-LGBT. The rabbinate and religious influences curb the poz a little bit.
Tel Aviv: The Gay Capital of the World
The rabbinate seems to be getting weaker, however, seeing as Tel Aviv has defied the rabbinate and allowed same-sex couples to register as "married." Marriage is carried out by religious institutions—so Jewish couples are married through the chief rabbinate; and there are similar bodies for Christians, Druze, and Muslims. What Tel Aviv is doing will allow married status to apply to interfaith couples and same-sex couples, circumventing these religious institutions.
A writer for Boston Globe says you should assume about 10% of Tel Aviv is gay, and officials estimate that 25% of the population is gay! I couldn't find anything else to corroborate this, so might be best to take this with a grain of salt. Who knows? It might be close to the truth.
Tel Aviv is known for its gay pride parades:
The 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.Hence, many refer to Tel Aviv as the gay capital of the Middle East or Asia, and in some cases, the world. In 2012, Tel Aviv was rated as the number one gay city by gay travelers according to American Airlines and GayCities.com surveys. “the gay capital of the Middle East is exotic with a Mediterranean c’est la vie attitude.”
“For those at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel who devised the strategy of pitching Israel as a ‘gay promised land’ in the hope that this would somehow make people... look away from very serious and worsening human rights violations here, that’s a strategy that any decent person should reject wholeheartedly.”
To create and mobilize support, one must point to convergent morals and similar values. In that sense, messages should be coupled with examples of similar compatible values of Israel with the West. Gaining the trust of members of Western elites and thus strengthening their association with Israel can influence Israel’s image very favourably.Participants noted that introducing people to daily life in Israel has been very successful in gaining their support; spending a night out in Tel-Aviv or taking part in a tour of Herziliya proved to be the best way for foreigners to understand and relate to Israel.
It's unclear if these LGBT privileges that Tel Aviv "enjoys" will be extended to Israel as a whole anytime soon.
Israel actually ranks low in tolerance for LGBT compared to the more liberal European countries. In large part, this is due to religiosity. The secular elements of Israel are generally pretty tolerant of LGBT.
As for general approval of homosexuality, according to Pew, 47% said homosexuality should be accepted, while 45% said it should not be accepted. 52% of high-income earners approve, as opposed to about 30% of low-income earners. Those who don't value religion are 3 times more likely to say homosexuality is acceptable compared to the religious. Israeli Jews are much more likely to approve of homosexuality compared to Israeli Muslims: 53% versus 17%.
For a bit of perspective on the demographics and religiosity of Israel:
A survey in 2004 showed that 81 percent of Israel’s population defined themselves as Jewish; 12 percent as Muslim; 3.5 percent as Christian (both Arab and non-Arab); 1.5 percent as Druze; 1.5 percent as atheist; and another 0.5 percent as followers of other religions. In terms of religiosity, among Israeli Jews aged 20 and over, 44 percent defined themselves as secular; 27 percent defined themselves as traditional; 12 percent as traditionally observant; 9 percent as Orthodox; and 8 percent as ultra-Orthodox.
If this 45%/47% split is correct, then the same probably applies to approval for gay marriage. A general trend should likely be that more general "equality" will have a higher approval (or at least equivalent) than same-sex marriage.
Here is a further representation of the more reactionary elements of the split:
Despite the relatively high acceptance rates in Israel, LGBTQphobia remains a significant issue in the country, with a 36% rise noted in the number of LGBTQphobic incidents reported in 2019 by the Aguda - The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel.
I'm always very suspicious of anything along the lines of "hate crime," "hate speech," and "such and such -ism is up by 50%!"
Despite my suspicions, as homosexuals have been granted more power in Israeli society, there is undoubtedly going to be a backlash as the behavior becomes more visible to the more conservative and religious elements, Lehava, or the aforementioned Noam.
Tel Aviv has been described as a pro-LGBT "bubble," with many other locations in Israel being far more hostile, among them Jerusalem and it's greater number of Haredim. The Haredim are also outbreeding the rest of the Israeli population, and if they are as sufficiently anti-LGBT as I assume they likely are, then this may not bode well for LGBT acceptance in Israel as a whole, though Tel Aviv may remain an anal paradise.
Even if the Haredim were to become the majority, there's no guarantee they would get their way—just as the religious and conservatives lost on the issue of LGBT in the U.S. In most cases, the decision will be in the hands of the elite, and the Haredim have traditionally been in the lower-income bracket compared to the secular Jews, though that doesn't account for how powerful and influential a select few Haredim are.
For now, the right wing elements are probably going to maintain the status quo, from everything I have read about the Knesset's position and the influence of ultra-orthodox elements. A solid article to get a better grasp of the subject can be found here—it gives a broad overview of the history of LGBT-related policy and some of the internal political squabbles.
We'll just have to wait and see what direction Israel goes in.
Yes, Israel is fairly pro-LGBT; it can be found listed alongside western/northern Europe and the Anglosphere in terms of how accepting they are of LGBT. Though there is probably greater disparity in approval from the overall population in Israel compared to countries of European descent because Israel has a more devout religious element.
The U.S. might be listed as a "very religious" country, but the religious engagement is very casual, the closer you look. Going by George Barna's study, very few Americans have what could be called a biblical world view—instead we have a syncretic world view comprised of various cobbled together philosophies. What religion we do have has liberalized and often accepts homosexuality as valid. Religion is declining quickly, while agnosticism and atheism are increasing, and 17% of Americans describe their "religion" as "nothing in particular." Only about 44% of Christians attend church weekly or more.
Europeans are becoming far more casual about religion. The most powerful Jewish elements in American society are largely secular. Secular Jews as a whole are about 30% of the Jewish population. Reform Judaism is also large in the U.S.—about 35% of the Jewish population, and they are extremely liberal and more casual in their religiosity. Effectively, that means 60-70% of U.S. Jews practice either a shitlib form of Judaism or are secular.
Israel's religious demographics:
Only about 40% of Israeli citizens are secular. Ultra-orthodox will be the most anti-LGBT, and while this says 8%, this is from 2014-2015. By 2020, the Haredim/ultra-orthodox already have grown to 12.6%. Only about 3% of Jews in Israel identify as belonging to Reform Judaism, which is the most liberal religious label. The other religious groupings are mostly some form of orthodox and will likely be closer to the Haredim or a bit closer to being moderate or conservative.
This should give a decent idea of how these different religious groupings will probably vote and how much they will approve of LGBT:
Also, religious Jews in Israel are probably more inclined to opt for pro-social policies compared to religious American Jews, who often isolate themselves within Jewish communities, away from the gentiles. Why should they care about the decline of America if they are cloistered in their tightly-knit communities?
I personally think the 45%/47% split of approval is probably correct. It would seem to me Israel is divided between a very liberal and secular set of Jews on one hand, and a highly orthodox, conservative, and moderate set of mostly religious Jews on another hand.
There is a clash between tradition and another group with an evolved sense of upholding the rights of minority groups. And by minority groups, I obviously mean Jewish LGBT, not Palestinians or black "Jews" or anything else. They only care about the plight of other minorities in countries they want to subvert (or to take the pressure off of Jews and to blend into an increasingly diverse crowd).
Jews seem to be more sexually deviant in general—and sexual deviance correlates with higher IQ. Ashkenazi Jewish IQ is generally considered the highest of all the demographics, clocking in somewhere around 105-115 (I'll write an article later as to why the 115 number is dubious; their real average is probably closer to 105, give or take a few points). They also have various mental illnesses at elevated rates, among them schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. All of these factors buttress each other to indicate Jews likely have higher rates of bisexuality, homosexuality, or other aberrant and deviant forms of sexuality compared to the general population.
The more liberal Jews probably are homosexual at higher rates, just as the dataset shown earlier would indicate. The only problem, is there's hardly any data on the topic for Jews in America or Israel. Jews are a small percentage of the world population and tests that would indicate something negative about them are rarely performed, or if they are, they are likely buried.