Israel, Middle East

Israel is the world's only Jewish state. It is considered one of the most advanced countries in the Middle East in economic and industrial development. In 2007, Israel had the 22nd-highest gross domestic product per capita of US$33,299. The country is considered the most progressive and tolerant country in the Middle East in terms of gay rights. Common law marriage has already been achieved (which grants most of the official marriage rights to the spouse), but full official gay marriage has not yet been sanctioned. However, same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are recognized. Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Cyprus are the only countries in the Middle East where homosexuality between consenting adults in private is not illegal and homosexuals are not persecuted under law. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where homosexuals are protected by anti-discrimination laws. Read More. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality



Twice Divided

For gay Palestinians, Tel Aviv is a precarious and complicated sanctuary. Ra’ed, a soft-spoken Israeli-Palestinian man in his forties, lives in south Tel Aviv with Ahmad, his devilishly handsome boyfriend. They are both from small Arab villages in the north of the country. In Tel Aviv, Ra’ed, Ahmad, and their friends live an ordinary life… Read more »

Israel: High rates of suicide among country’s LGBT youth

New research published this week in Israel has examined suicide rates among LGBT youth in the country. Kipa reports that for the first time, the suicide rates among different segments of Israeli youth have been analysed in detail. According to a study of 1,134 teens, 20% of gay youngsters surveyed had undertaken suicide attempts –… Read more »

Police out in force for Jerusalem Gay Pride

Thousands marched in central Jerusalem on Thursday for a milestone 10th anniversary Gay Pride parade, passing by the spot where an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants in 2005. Some carried rainbow banners and others had signs proclaiming: “A decade of marching in Jerusalem,” and: “Love thy neighbour.” Opposition to such events is fiercer in Jerusalem,… Read more »

Israel’s Masorti Movement will ordain gay men and lesbians as rabbis

The Masorti Movement of Judaism in Israel will ordain gay and lesbian students as Conservative rabbis in Israel from the next academic year, it has been confirmed. The word ‘masorti’ means ‘traditional’ in Hebrew, though the movement itself has nothing to do with those who define themselves as ‘masorati,’ which also means ‘traditional,’ in a… Read more »

Orthodox Rabbis Oppose Gay Marriage

More than 100 Orthodox rabbis have signed onto a statement in opposition to same sex weddings, saying that gay marriage is a “desecration of Torah values.” The statement was a response to a November wedding between two men that was officiated by the Orthodox-ordained rabbi and longtime gay rights activist Steven Greenberg. Hailed as an… Read more »

HIV rate rises sharply among gay men in Israel

2010 data: One fifth of the 2,000 gay men who participated in a study did not use condoms during the previous six months. Among the 420 newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Israel in 2010, 148 of them were homosexual men, according to the Health Ministry, which is worried about the “dramatic increase” in infection… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2010-11

1 Court: Palestinian persecuted for homosexuality can stay in Israel 1/10 2 Live For Tel Aviv 4/10 3 Eyes Wide Open reveals the homophobia of Orthodox Judaism 5/10 4 Madrid gay pride march bans Israelis over Gaza flotilla raids 6/10 5 Tel Aviv Pride kicks off 6/10 6 Travel: Tel Aviv- bursting with pride 6/10… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2008-09

1 Lesbian and gay couples are adopting in Israel. 1/08 2 Israel’s other war 1/08 3 LGBT Palestinian organisation formed in Jerusalem 2/08 3a Drag against the occupation 3/08 4 Gay adoption ruling may set precedent in Israel 3/08 5 Out’ publishes guide to picking up Israeli men 3/08 6 Lesbian mums fight for legal… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2007

1 Tel Aviv, the final gay frontier 1/07 2 Jerusalem registers its first gay couple 1/07 2 West Bank gays more at home in Israel 2/07 4 Open House fights for J’lem gay parade 3/07 5 Arab lesbians wary of defying gay taboo 3/07 6 Arab Lesbians Hold Rare Public Meeting in Haifa, Defying Islamist… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2006

1 Israel’s Gay Forest 2/06 2 Preparations for Int’l Jerusalem Pride (August) Under Way 4/06 3 Jerusalem, Now (Non-gay travelogue) 4/06 4 5th Gay Pride Parade in Eilat 5/06 5 Israel Gay Youth organizatiion(IGY) 6 Gay drama in Holy City–Anti-Israel group call for WorldPride Boycott 6/06 7 WorldPride organizers undaunted amid protests, pledge safe event… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2005

1 Israeli court rules on lesbian couple adoption1/05 2 Gay parade a no-go? 2/05 3 New Israel Holocaust Memorial Honors Gay Victims 3/05 4 Gay Jerusalem determined to hold parade 3/05 5 Chief Rabbi gives his support to Jerusalem World Pride 4/05 6 Jerusalem Gay Bar Torched 4/05 7 Jerusalem gay pride parade postponed to… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2003-04

Press Release: WorldPride 2005 in Jerusalem The Jerusalem Open House is the GLBT community center serving the population of the Holy City and will be hosting the WorldPride celebrations in August 2005. As an organization that serves both Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs alike, the Jerusalem Open House works to unite a fragmented community,… Read more »

Gay Israel News & Reports 2000-02

Press Release: World Pride to be held in Jerusalem 2005 1 Two Books on Gay Israel 7/00 2 Coalition MKs stay away from gay Knesset gathering 3/01 3 High Court overturns rabbinical court ruling in lesbian case 3/01 4 Gay community center reaching out to gay Arabs 6/01 5 Israeli Army Weekly ordered closed after… Read more »