Some 15,000 people arrived at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Friday to participate in the annual gay pride parade.
During the extravagant procession, which headed west toward the boardwalk at Gordon Beach, participants were handing out condom-shaped flowers to onlookers. Some marchers were wearing nothing but briefs.
Gays marching through the streets of Tel Aviv (photo: Ofer Amram)
“I am wearing a girdle, and I haven’t been able to breathe for an hour and I’m almost suffocating,” said one participant who came all the way from Paris to show off his flamboyant Marie Antoinette costume.
Several dozen right-wing activists, including Baruch Marzel, greeted the marchers at Rabin Square with chants of “anti-Semites” and “you are bringing disaster upon us” and called for the parade’s cancellation.
About 500 police officers and volunteers were positioned along the parade’s route to keep order.
On Wednesday the Knesset approved in a first reading two bills aimed at preventing the gay pride parade from taking place in Jerusalem, or in any other place in the country.
The bills were submitted by MK Eliahu Gabbay (National Union-National Religious Party) and Shas MKs.
The Prime minister's Office stated that "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert does not think that Jerusalem is the appropriate location for holding gay pride parades due to the special sensitive nature of the city, although he believes that such matters should not be limited by law."