Thousands march in Jerusalem LGBT Pride parade

Fri. August 3, 2018 2:15 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

More than 15,000 people marched in Thursday's LGBT Pride parade in Jerusalem.

The march comes just weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on a pledge to pass legislation supporting surrogacy for gay fathers. Netanyahu is believed to have buckled under pressure from ultra-Orthodox Jewish coalition partners.

Some in the parade held signs which read "I want to be a father" and chanted slogans directed at Netanyahu's change of heart, the AP reported.

Demonstrators opposed to the parade held signs which read "Israel is the holy land not the homo land." Police said that they arrested four demonstrators.

"They want to destroy our culture, they want to destroy our society, they want to destroy the nature of family," one of the demonstrators, Chanoch Obel, said. "In Jerusalem, of all places in the world. ... Tel Aviv we understand, Jerusalem ... horrible."

Omer Yehoshua said that he took part in the parade because he's an "LGBT that lives in the state of Israel. I want my rights to be equal to those of a straight person who lives in this country, so that in the future I can, if I'm with a partner, get married and register as parents, to bring children to the world, that our rights be equal."

Parade-goers also remembered Shira Banki, the 16-year-old girl who was stabbed to death at Jerusalem's parade in 2015 by an ultra-orthodox Jew. Some placed flowers at the foot of a giant picture of Banki, while others offered prayers.

(Related: Ultra-Orthodox man who killed teen at Jerusalem Gay Pride parade sentenced to life.)

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine