Poll: Most Modern Orthodox Israelis Would Accept Same-sex Marriage

Survey also shows 96% of all secular Jews and 97% of all new immigrants support civil unions and/or marriage in Israel.

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

A surprising majority of modern Orthodox Jews in Israel support civil and same-sex marriages or unions, according to a soon-to-be-published Smith Research Institute poll.

The poll shows that 60 percent of Habayit Hayehudi voters supports civil unions and/or marriages, including for same-sex couples. An overwhelming 80 percent of the religious Zionist party’s voters support civil unions and/or marriages, though just for heterosexual couples.

The poll was undertaken two months ago and commissioned by a forum called the Coalition for Free Marriage that represents several organizations and movements that oppose the Orthodox-run Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over marriage in Israel.

The Knesset is currently considering several bills that pertain to civil unions.

According to the poll, 78 percent of Israel’s Jewish population support civil unions or marriages. The figures show that 96 percent of all secular Jews and 97 percent of all new immigrants support civil unions and/or marriage in Israel.

The more surprising finding is that 82 percent of those who define themselves as traditional and 41 percent of those who define themselves as religious also support civil unions or marriages.

Despite the seemingly widespread support for civil ceremonies, only one-third of the respondents said they would prefer for their children to be married outside the rabbinate.

Illustration: Two men, both wearing signs that read "he's the groom"; they couldn't presently formalize their relationship under Israeli law.Credit: Reuters
Same-sex marriage cupcakes.Credit: Reuters
A Conservative rabbi marries a same-sex couple in the U.S.Credit: Courtesy of Gregg Drinkwater / Forward

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