Israel's MKs surveyed on gay marriage

PM Naftali Bennett and the Yamina Party all declined to comment on the issue. 

 Foreign Minister and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid at Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2022. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Foreign Minister and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid at Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2022.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

As Pride Month is celebrated all over the world, Israeli citizens are once again sharply reminded that gay marriage is still not recognized by the state. Israeli news source Channel 13 conducted a survey of Israel's elected officials to find out their opinions on the issue. 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Yamina Party all declined to comment on the issue. 

The entirety of Yair Lapid's party, Yesh Atid, stated that they are in favor of gay marriage with the exception of MK Elazar Stern who chose not to comment. Benny Gantz's party, Blue and White, also came out with total approval with the exception of MK Mofid Mari who also did not comment. Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope Party also only had one MK who refused to comment, Bennie Begin, with the rest of the party in favor. 

Meretz MKs came out in favor of gay marriage, although MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi declined to comment. 

On the other hand, all but one of United Torah Judaism's members refused to comment, with MK Meir Porush saying that he was against gay marriage. 

  People marching in the 2022 Jerusalem Pride parade. (credit: TZVI JOFFRE) People marching in the 2022 Jerusalem Pride parade. (credit: TZVI JOFFRE)

The Labor Party, headed by Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, came out entirely in favor of gay marriage with no exceptions, as did Avigdor Liberman and Yisrael Beytenu.

Nearly all members of Likud refused to comment on the issue with the exception of three MKs. Fateen Mulla and Shlomo Karhi came out against the recognition of gay marriage, while Amir Ohana came out in favor. 

All members of Betzalel Smotrich's Religious Zionist Party refused to comment on the matter, as did all members of Ayman Odeh's Joint List and Arab party Ra'am. 

Same-sex couples in Israel

Although the State of Israel does not perform or recognize same-sex marriages, members of the LGBT+ community still get married in private ceremonies or abroad. Those married abroad where gay marriage is legal can be considered married in Israel for statistical purposes, but they get few of the traditional legal benefits. In 2012, a family court in Ramat Gan granted a legal divorce to a same-sex couple, setting a soft precedent.

What is more, in 2016, the Interior Ministry declared that they would consider applications for citizenship for same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally and the same-sex spouse of an Israeli citizen may claim Israeli citizenship through the same process as an opposite-sex spouse.  This is according to the British LGBTQ+ media source PinkNews. 

The Tel Aviv Municipality also announced in 2020 that it would register same-sex couples as married on city documents. This came with tax discounts and ease of enrollment in schools. 

Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ+ Equality in Israel responded to Channel 13's survey results, saying that, "If there had been a referendum on equal rights for LBGT+ people, it probably would have passed. Leaders of Likud and Yamina are still stuck in the past and refuse to align with most of their electorate." 

"We continue to bring closer the day when political barriers will be broken and the path to true equality will be paved for all of us."

Aguda – The Association for LGBTQ+ Equality in Israel