Gay pride parade, Tel Aviv (file). Civil marriage rejected by  Knesset on Wednesday.
Gay pride parade, Tel Aviv (file). Civil marriage rejected by Knesset on Wednesday.Flash90

A majority of Israelis oppose allowing gay pride parades to march down city centers, though most would permit such events in side areas.

The poll, conducted by Ariel Ayalon and Tel Aviv University’s Camil Fuchs on behalf of Walla News, was published on Thursday, just hours ahead of this year’s Jerusalem gay pride parade.

The controversial annual event, which has drawn protests from the city’s religious residents, is held in the city’s main thoroughfare, Yafo Street.

According to the poll, 50% of Israelis are opposed to such events being held in central areas of Israeli cities. A large minority of 44%, however, favor allowing gay pride parades even in the center of Israeli towns.

A significant number (23%) of Israelis did favor a compromise, allowing gay pride events to take place in smaller venues outside of city centers, while a minority (27%) opposed any such events regardless of their location.

While respondents were fairly evenly split on the issue of gay pride parades, the overwhelming majority said they rejected Rabbi Yigal Levinstein’s use of the term “deviants” to describe homosexuals.

Only 19% of Israelis said they agreed with the description, while 71% disagreed. Among secular Jews, a whopping 92% said they disagreed, compared with 74% of traditional Jews, 44% of religious Jews, and 19% of haredi Jews.