Israel celebrates peaceful Eilat Pride Parade

The Southern city of Eilat saw big crowds as it kicked off the events set for pride in Israel, which is expected to attract a total of 20,000 tourists to Tel Aviv Pride month.

By Melanie Nathan, May 31, 2013.

Meir Ohayon reports from Israel that “Hundreds of Eilat residents and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from across Israel participated Friday in the annual pride parade, which made its way through the southern city’s main street. However due to the extreme heat, the number of participants was relatively small compared to past parades in the city.

(צילום: מאיר אוחיון)
Eilat Pride (Photo: Meir Ohayon
(צילום: מאיר אוחיון)
Eilat pride (Photo: Meir Ohayon)

Over 300 people gathered today and marched to Maman Beach for the 12 such parade.

As opposed to previous years, the parade ended peacefully. Although some opposition was voiced by some of the city’s right wing. activists.

“Moshe Ben Zikri, who heads the Jewish Eilat faction, sent a letter to Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi, demanding that the Municipality cancel its participation in the event. The demand was ignored.”

Israel’s LGBT community continues to celebrate pride around the country every June  with parades and large public events. The Eilat parade is the first in a long series of events scheduled to take place in Israel’s major cities, including the country’s biggest pride parade which will be held in Tel Aviv on June 7.

The evens will conclude with the Jerusalem Pride Parade, which has been held in recent years in late July to mark the anniversary of the 2009 Tel Aviv gay center shooting. Read More.

Tens of thousands of tourists from Germany, US, and even Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, expected to arrive in Tel Aviv in coming month. Ministers Lapid, Livni and Opposition Chairwoman Yachimovich to participate in city’s Pride Parade; Rabin Square foundation already lit up with colors of rainbow

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Israel are considered the most progressive in the Middle East and Asia.  In November 2005, a groundbreaking court decision in Israel ruled that a lesbian spouse could officially adopt a child born to her current partner by artificial insemination from an anonymous sperm donor; this ruling came despite protests by the minority Orthodox Jewish parliamentary parties. Common law marriage which grants most of the official marriage rights to the spouse has been achieved, but full official same-sex marriage has not yet been sanctioned. However, same-sex marriages performed elsewhere are recognized.

Israel also has one of the highest percentages of support for same-sex marriage in the world, with 61% of Israelis supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.


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