Tens of thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv on Friday for the annual Gay Pride Parade. Organizers decided not to change the scheduled events and parade route in light of the arrests made in connection to the 2009 gay youth club shooting, and a number of public figures and politicians are scheduled to give speeches.
Tens of thousands celebrate Gay Pride in Tel Aviv
Finance Minister Yair Lapid received boos as he took to the stage. He responded by saying that "no shouts will put a stop to our deep commitment to the community," and added that he intends to work to legalize same-sex marriage.
Culture Minister Limor Livnat spoke about the club shooting, saying that "even if details are not yet fully known, it is obvious that the murder of innocent youth is a hate crime." This is the first time a representative from the Likud speaks at the Gay Pride Parade.
Other politicians expected to speak are Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, opposition head Shelly Yachimovich, Meretz chair Zahava Gal-On and U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro.
Festivities began at 10 A.M. at Gan Meir, and the parade itself is slated to get underway at around 1 P.M., moving up Bugrashov Street, turning right onto Ben Yehuda Street and left on Arlosoroff Street, ending at Gordon where DJs and famous Israeli singers will serenade the crowd into the sunset. The party will begin at around 3 P.M. and carry on until about 6 P.M.