Gay pride parade, Tel Aviv (file)
Gay pride parade, Tel Aviv (file)Flash90

Israel’s largest LGBT lobby group polled parties running for the Knesset in this month’s election, asking the major contenders where they stand on the LGBT agenda and core issues like government recognition of same-sex marriage.

According to a report Tuesday by Galei Tzahal, Aguda – Israel's LGBT Task Force mailed parties a request for their positions on the LGBT agenda.

The Likud declined to respond to the letter, answer with only “No response”.

The Yamina party, which includes the Jewish Home, New Right, and National Union factions, responded by saying that it had received the query, and was putting together an official position on the issue.

Neither of the haredi parties received the Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force query.

Yisrael Beytenu, a secular-rightist party which relies heavily on support from the Russian immigrant community, initially responded by saying only that the party backs civil marriage, without elaborating specifically on the issue of gay marriage.

Later, Yisrael Beytenu expanded on their response, saying that the party “supports equal rights and responsibilities for everyone, the idea of live and let live; we back civil marriages and only a national-liberal government without the haredim will be able to advance that.”

On the Left, the three major lists all responded to the Aguda query by affirming their support for “LGBT rights”.

The center-left Blue and White party said it is committed to advancing LGBT rights, and is considering including this plank of its platform as a condition for forming or joining a future government.

The Labor party, which is running on a joint list with Gesher, also said it would promote “LGBT rights”, while the Democratic Union, led by Nitzan Horowitz – who is openly gay – said it would demand the recognition of gay marriage as a condition for joining a coalition government.

The predominantly Arab Joint List - which includes the Communist Hadash faction, the Arab nationalist Balad and Ta’al factions, and the Islamist United Arab List – was divided in its response to the Aguda query.

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh said Hadash backed the LGBT agenda, while the other three factions within the Joint List refused to response to the question.