Pride and prejudice

New study: Israelis welcome equal rights for homosexuals

June 7, 2015 16:44
2 minute read.
tel aviv gay pride

Israeli drag queens and go-go dancers dance on a truck during the annual gay pride parade in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on June 13, 2014. . (photo credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Eighty-two percent of Israelis think homosexuals have an equal right to be parents and 78% believe the state should afford homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals with regard to bringing children into the world, according to a new study conducted by the Sapio research institute for Tammuz International Surrogacy, a Tel Aviv-based agency that arranges international surrogacy.

The study, conducted during the first week of June and released Sunday in honor of Pride Month, surveyed 500 Jewish Israelis above the age of 18 and asked questions gauging their attitudes toward homosexual rights with regard to bringing children into the world, familiarity with homosexuals, the state’s obligation to provide equal rights to homosexuals who wish to have children, and surrogacy issues.

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“The earthquake in Nepal last April once again raised the issue of surrogacy on the public agenda and the rights of intended parents (especially the rights of the gay community) to realize their parenthood through these procedures,” said Doron Mamet-Meged, CEO and founder of Tammuz.

“While for some of those who express opinions this is a theoretical- academic discussion, for many others it is a question of life, a question of the right to exercise the most basic human idea – the right to be a parent.”

The results “unequivocally reflect the support of the Israeli public for the rights of the homosexual community to be parents and, moreover, of the attempt to equate the rights of homosexuals to those of the heterosexual community,” said Mamet-Meged.

More than 90% of women support the right of homosexuals to have children versus just 72% of men. Eighty-seven percent of women think homosexuals should be granted rights equal to those of heterosexuals on issues relating to having children, versus 67% of men.

More women reported personally knowing at least one homosexual person than did men, and women also were more supportive than men on the issue of allowing access to surrogacy for homosexuals.

The survey also indicated the attitude of the Orthodox community toward homosexual rights, with approximately onethird of Orthodox respondents supporting the right of homosexuals to have children and equal rights for homosexuals with regards to having children.

Of the Orthodox respondents, 70% supported allowing those who wish to have children but cannot to have access to surrogacy.

“We are particularly surprised and pleased to see that a significant portion (over a third) of the Orthodox community recognizes the legitimacy of same-sex couples to become parents and the promotion of their rights in family issues,” said Mamet- Meged. “This survey, conducted adjacent to the pride events in Israel, is especially important in light of the fact that hundreds of happy Israeli children who are raised by same-sex parents are now old enough to hear and absorb what was said in these discussions.

“For them, and for the other children who will be born into these families, we sought to test the mood among the Israeli public, the results of which will turn the pride events this year into particularly joyous events.”

The study said 91% of Israelis support allowing surrogacy procedures for anyone who wants children but cannot have them on their own.

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