Around 200,000 people took to the streets to celebrate LGBTQ pride in Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride Parade, the biggest event of its kind in the Middle East.
The Friday parade — considered one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world — drew some 30,000 international tourists and celebrated “bisexual visibility.”
Ahead of the parade, a poll found that support in the country for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high. Seventy nine percent of Israeli Jews said they support allowing same-sex marriage or civil unions for gay couples, according to a poll released Thursday by the religious pluralism group Hiddush.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai said: “Tel Aviv Pride Parade is not just a celebration, but also an important declaration of support. Tel Aviv, which has already been acknowledged as the world’s “most gay-friendly city” will continue to be a light-house city – spreading the values of freedom, tolerance and democracy to the world.”
Blogger and television star, Perez Hilton said: “I am so excited to be the International Ambassador for Tel Aviv Pride 2017 and I’m thrilled to be in this city with my children and to show them a place that I truly love. With all the awful things happening to Gay, Lesbian and Transgender people all over the world, I am so happy to be in a place that is so welcoming”.
Attendees took to social media to share photos of the festivities, whilst others protested. Some demonstrators held up signs saying “there’s no pride in occupation”, in opposition to Israel’s control of the West Bank.
— Tel Aviv (@TelAviv) June 9, 2017
— Louis Fishman (@Istanbultelaviv) June 9, 2017
— Martin Weiss (@martinoweiss) June 9, 2017
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) June 9, 2017
LGBTQ anti-occupation activists block the Tel Aviv Pride Parade with a "separation wall" that says: 'There's no pride in occupation.' pic.twitter.com/KlP0NxX6qv
— +972 Magazine (@972mag) June 9, 2017