Lapid at the Gay Pride Parade 370.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
Politicians who addressed the crowd at the Gay Pride Parade kick off in Tel Aviv's Gan Meir on Friday received mixed reactions.
When Finance Minister Yair Lapid took the podium, he was unable to begin his speech and was met with booing and heckling from the crowd.
"No screams and cheers will stop me from supporting the LGBT community," he told the crowd.
Audience members chanted "There is no future with Lapid and Bibi," in a reference to Lapid's party name, Yesh Atid, that means "There is a future."
But once Lapid was able to begin his speech, the crowd became more responsive. Lapid said he came to the parade to talk about "the rights of gay people to marry and adopt children," adding that he was proud of the Israeli gay community and that the community should take pride in itself.
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat was also booed when she took to the stage. "I came here today with love and pride, and I expect you to accept it," she told the heckling crowd.
"I will continue with my love and pride even if there will be some shouting, and I am proud of the Likud's gay pride group," she continued. "You ought to want a group like that in all of the political factions, and not come here to spew hate."
Livnat praised the LGBT community and its ability to overcome hardships and difficulties to reach great achievements.
"Can anyone imagine the Israeli culture without you? Listening to the radio, poetry, literature, cinema and theater?" the culture minister said.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, however, was met with approval and cheers when she disputed police claims that the 2009 shooting at the LGBT youth center Bar Noar was not a hate crime
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said it is time to demand the government act for the LGBT community and not just make promises.
"It is time to make real demands of the state, primarily allowing gay marriage," she said.
Labor is promoting a gay marriage bill, and Yacimovich asked the crowd to demand that all of the politicians on stage vote in favor of the proposal.