Tel Aviv gay parade draws thousands

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

gay parade condoms 311 (photo credit: Tsofit Gotliv)
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, thetrauma of last year’s fatal attack on a counseling center for gay teensin Tel Aviv was not forgotten during the festivities. A moment ofsilence was held at Meir Park for the victims of a shooting last Augustat the Bar Noar that left two dead and 15 wounded. Parade organizersalso set up a stand where people could make donations to help thesurvivors.
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 – criticizedthe government for failing to aid the community in light of theviolence and discrimination against it.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.