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NEWS

Tel Aviv Gay Pride draws thousands


Anthony Cuesta | June 11, 2007

TEL AVIV — An estimated 3,000 gay rights supporters marched through the streets of Tel Aviv Friday for Israel's annual gay pride parade.

Marchers handed out condom-shaped flowers as they headed from Rabin Square to the boardwalk at Gordon Beach, Ynetnews reported.

One participant dressed as Marie Antoinette told Ynetnews he had come from Paris to take part in the march.

Mike Hamel, who chairs the national association of gay lesbian and bi community in Israel, expressed hope that tens of thousands would attend what he called "sand, sun and lots of fun" twined to a meaningful political rally.

"It's an empowering experience. It's uplifting and at the same time it's meaningful. It's not just a party. It's not just music and fun. It's a political rally talking about human rights," he told AFP.

According to United Press International, the marchers were met by a group of right-wing activists who obtained police approval to hold a small counterdemonstration.

Some 500 police officers and volunteers were positioned along the parade route to keep order.

This year's parade comes amid rising controversy over efforts by gay activists to hold a gay pride parade in Jerusalem.

"They want to spread abomination in Jerusalem," activist Itamar Ben Gvir told the Jerusalem Post.

Earlier this week, the Knesset gave preliminary approval to measures preventing a gay pride parade in Jerusalem or any other place in the country. – Issued by Gay Link Content


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