Tel Aviv gay parade draws thousands

Livni: “As a country which is proud of its values, Israel must denounce hatred."

June 13, 2010 02:53
1 minute read.
An ad for the 'Control' condom brand at the Tel Av

gay parade condoms 311. (photo credit: Tsofit Gotliv)

Tel Aviv embraced Israel’s homosexual community Friday as it hosted the 13th annual Gay Pride parade.

Dozens of police officers watched as thousands marched, danced and waved rainbow flags from Meir Park to Gordon Beach, where a massive outdoor party was held.

Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and sympathizers marched through many of Tel Aviv’s most famous streets, among them King George, Ben-Yehuda, Allenby and Nordau.

Though it did not diminish the colorful exuberance of the march, the trauma of last year’s fatal attack on a counseling center for gay teens in Tel Aviv was not forgotten during the festivities. A moment of silence was held at Meir Park for the victims of a shooting last August at the Bar Noar that left two dead and 15 wounded. Parade organizers also set up a stand where people could make donations to help the survivors.

Kadima leader Tzipi Livni spoke at the event, urging Israelis not to give in to hatred and xenophobia.

“As a country which is proud of its values, justice and unique society, Israel must denounce hatred,” she said.

Last week, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) – who is openly gay – criticized the government for failing to aid the community in light of the violence and discrimination against it.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

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