VIDEO - Pride Parade events kicked off under heavy security outside the gay community center in central Tel Aviv's Gan Meir park on Friday.
Participants visited various stands representing organizations in the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community.
Among the participants was a group of parents who demonstrated support of their children's sexual orientations, as well as a group of older gay and lesbian individuals.
Drag queens performed on the central stage, where different public figures also gave speeches. Openly gay Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz)
said, "The revolution is not complete.
"What you see here should not be taken as for granted. In other plaices in the country gays and lesbians are persecuted, ostracized and kicked out of their homes – we must help them and we must not settle for a celebration.
"There are bodies that do not want this parade to take place – ultra-Orthodox parties, Kahanists, those that do not want parking lots to be open on Shabbat in Jerusalem – they are trying to impose their conditions on us, but we will fight for our freedom," he stressed.
Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir protesting parade (Photo: Ofer Amram)
Pride flags hung from the streets surrounding the park, but a small group of demonstrators protesting against the parade was also present. Right-wing activists and religious people carried signs that read, "God despises debauchery" and "Animal parade".
The parade is scheduled to conclude at Gordon Beach and will culminate in a marriage ceremony of five same-sex couples. The event will end at 3 pm, and be followed by a beach party until the start of Shabbat.
Thousands of police officers, ushers, emergency service crews and firefighters secured the parade, that will pass through some of the city's major streets that have been closed for the event including Bugrashov, Ben Yehuda and Ben Gurion.