August 04, 2017

16th Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance March: LGBTQ and Religion

Decked out in my hat, shades, sunscreen

I was thrilled to be among the 22,000 people who joined the 16th Jerusalem Pride and Tolerance March yesterday. Spirits soared above heavy security by police and border patrol soldiers. This year, the theme was “LGBTQ and Religion” in response to those who claim to oppose the LGBT community in the name of religion (especially in the "holy city" of Jerusalem). Not far away, extreme-right groups held a counter-demonstration, surrounded by a tight police cordon. Their themes: “Jerusalem is not Sodom” and “Do not let them adopt children.”

In speeches and songs and on banners (my favorite, "Born This Way"), signs, T-shirts, and headgear marchers identified as gay, straight, transgender, asexual, religiously observant, and secular. Youth groups, NGOs, political parties from left to right, and protestors seeking an end to the Occupation also marched. At the spot where Shira Banki was stabbed to death in 2015, marchers stopped to lay white flowers and hold a moment of silence for the teenager who had been marching to support her gay friends.

A free Israel is Jewish and democratic

Seculars marching with pride

"LGBTQ against pinkwashing"
[Hebrew terminology explains the pun:
qibus is washing, and qibush is occupation] 

Click the video to listen to the marchers singing, drumming, and dancing and watch them laying white flowers where Shiri Banki was murdered. (Video and edit by Micah Danney for the Times of Israel.)

Related post
Jerusalem Pride March 2007: You may not stand over the blood of your fellow man . . . לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל-דַּם רֵעֶךָ