“Israel is the most gay friendly nation in the Middle East” – as the headlines say, but what’s behind the rainbow-colored slogan? For all the skeptics and fans of Tel Aviv, Kristóf Yosef Steiner breaks down the White City’s major attributes
First and foremost: No one asks you to choose between your religion and sexual orientation
Regardless from being Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, if you are searching, you’ll always find a welcoming spiritual atmosphere. Even some orthodox organizations teach acceptance and tolerance – check out the legendary transgender scholar, Yiscah Smith’s lectures in Jerusalem, or visit the Kabbalah Centre in Tel Aviv, Haifa or Tiberias to ask a teacher about the connection of homosexuality and spirituality according to mystical Judaism.
Hetero and homosexual couples in registered partnerships have equal rights
Although there’s no civil marriage in Israel – not even for women and men. The option of registering yourself as a couple with your boyfriend/girlfriend will give you identical rights to a straight couple with with the same legal status. Even happier news: according to a recent poll, almost two thirds of Israel’s population supports equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Gay families are no strangers to Israel
There are over 18,000 gay and lesbian households in Israel and over 3,000 children are raised by two fathers or mothers. Tel Aviv is the second fastest-growing region in the world populated by gay families. Hundreds of workshops and conventions take place in the city, and dozens of professionals are specialized on the needs of LGBTQ families in Israel.