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More than 1,000 people participated in Tel Aviv’s tenth annual Gay Pride Parade, which coincided with celebrating the city’s new community center for homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.
“Every person, whoever he may be, was created in the image of God,” said a conservative rabbi as he recited a blessing over the mezuzah. “And therefore this place is not just a house for the community, but a house of God” (Haaretz).
The mezuzah—a piece of parchment that lists Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21, and is usually attached to the doorframes of Jewish homes—was symbolically painted with the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag.
A city councilwoman told parade-goers, “You are my brothers and sisters and I love you” (ibid.).
A member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, said, “This parade is a demonstration against those harming the freedom of expression. We are struggling for equality and respect and we have a long way to go. No one will stop us, we will be here again next year and we will be victorious” (ibid.).
Only a few demonstrators, including a handful of Orthodox Jewish lawmakers, protested the event.
In Jerusalem, some religious Knesset members are searching for various measures to adopt to prevent the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade from taking place on June 20. The members called it “intolerable.”