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Tight security at Jerusalem Gay Pride march

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Tight security at Jerusalem Gay Pride march


It was far less flamboyant than many a Gay Pride march. But opponents are angry that such a parade was held in Jerusalem at all.

Homosexuality in the Holy City is unthinkable for many ultra-Orthodox Jews and scuffles broke out as religious youths confronted a marcher.

Gay activists are treading carefully, while demanding more rights.

“The gay community in Jerusalem is very respectful of religious people,” said participant Shmuel Satat.
“It includes the religious people and part of its message is to expose its existence to Orthodox people. The Orthodox population does have gay people in it and it is very important they will be out of the closet, for them.”

There was no repeat of an incident five years ago when three participants were stabbed and wounded by an ultra-Orthodox Jew. But security was tight. And, brandishing banners with slogans like ‘Holyland not Homoland’, anti-gay protesters left their feelings in no doubt.

“People that are sick, people that are doing things that are against the Bible, against God, in the Holy City, is something that is desecrating the city,” said Orthodox protester Baruch Marzel.

Several arrests were made amid attempts to disrupt the parade. It was held in honour of two people killed last summer in an attack on a gay youth club in Tel Aviv.

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