Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv Participants dance in the streets during the annual gay pride parade in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv in June 2014. (Photo: Jack Guez /AFP/Getty Images)

A safe haven for the LGBTQ community

Israel comes out as the most LGBT-friendly country in the region.

It may be hard to believe, but in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan — homosexuality is still illegal and punishable by death. By stark comparison, Israel is proud to be known as the most progressive country in the area, and is often referred to as the “gay capital of the Middle East.”

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Israel is the first and only country in the Middle East to recognize same-sex unions. Even though couples can’t actually get married there, the country does recognize marriages performed elsewhere.

Members of the Israeli lesbian community

World renowned for its Gay Pride Parade, Israel attracted a record-breaking 100,000 people to Tel Aviv this year. It’s no wonder Tel Aviv was ranked by travelers from Gaycities.com as the best gay city in the world.

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