(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Nearly half the national-religious community would support to some degree some form of civil marriage, a poll has found.
Marriage in Israel is only legally recognized by the state if it is conducted through the institutions representing the religious communities in Israel, such as the Chief Rabbinate.
There is no provision for civil marriage, despite heavy support for it from the nonreligious sector.
However, according to the survey, conducted by the Miskar Institute for Surveys in the National Religious Sector on behalf of the religious-Zionist organization Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah, there may now be growing support for civil marriage from the national- religious sector.
The poll presented a sample of 400 national-religious citizens aged 16 and above with a list of civil marriage options, including civil marriage for Jewish citizens who are ineligible to marry through the rabbinate for various reasons, with or without same-sex marriages, civil marriage as an option alongside marriage through the rabbinate, or civil marriage alone without religious marriage.
The option for civil marriage for those deemed “ineligible for marriage” through the Chief Rabbinate, excluding the possibility for same-sex marriages, was supported to varying degrees by some 35% of respondents.
Civil marriage as an option alongside religious marriage was supported by 27% of respondents, while civil marriage for those deemed “ineligible for marriage,” including for same-sex partners, garnered 23% support. Only 4% of respondents supported a situation where civil marriage would be the only method available.
Forty-nine percent of those polled expressed at least a minimum level of support for one of the four options. When asked which of the four options they preferred, 47% said they would support the most limited option of civil marriage for people ineligible for marriage through the chief rabbinate, excluding same-sex marriage.
“Findings indicate that the national-religious public, including its more conservative element, has sobered in regard to past religious legislation in general and civil marriage in particular,” said Dr. Chanan Mandel, chairman of Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah.
“Officials elected by the religious public are simply unaware of the current stance and opinion of their constituents. In this present reality, which distances so many Israelis from their Judaism, we believe that religious Knesset members must be informed of the feelings of their voters and act accordingly,” added Mandel.
The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.