Israel is the ONLY place in the Middle East where LGBT rights are protected under law.
Now before the anti-Israel haters and anti-Semites get their undies in a knot, let me say that ISRAEL IS NOT PERFECT. It is however, a beacon of freedom and tolerance for LGBT individuals in a region awash in hate and intolerance.
Israel has one of the highest percentages of support for same-sex marriage in the world, with 61% of Israelis supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.
Out Magazine has named Tel Aviv "the gay capital of the Middle East."
In 1992 legislation was introduced to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Common law marriage which grants most of the official marriage rights to the spouse has been achieved, but full official same-sex marriage has not yet been sanctioned. LGBT groups in Israel continue to press the case for marriage equality in the courts, in the Knesset and in the media. However, same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are recognized.
LGBT Israelis have been able to serve openly in the military since 1993
Some LGBT Palestinians relocate to Israel, often fleeing harsh intolerance that includes physical abuse and death. Significant expatriate groups exist in Tel Aviv and Netanya, where many live with their Israeli partners. Palestinian society tends to be conservative with Christian, Muslim, and secular families alike tending to see homosexuality deserving of condemnation.
In December 2004, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that the government cannot deport the Colombian partner of a gay Israeli man. The 32-year-old Colombian entered Israel on a visitors visa which has long expired and the Interior Ministry had ordered him deported. His partner is an Israeli citizen and a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. The couple filed an emergency petition with the Tel Aviv District Court. The men were represented by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Judge Uzi Vogelman ruled that the government had acted illegally in attempting to deport the man. In 1999 Supreme Court ruling established that the ministry could not deport foreign nationals married to Israeli citizens. Vogelman's decision extends that to apply to common-law marriages, including same-sex couples.