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4,000 People March in
Jerusalem's First Pride Parade

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

About 4,000 people marched in Jerusalem's first gay-pride parade June 7, police estimated.

Marchers at Jerusalem's first Pride Parade, June 7
Photo By: Rex Wockner

Some protesters turned out as well, most of them ultra-Orthodox Haredim. A few stink bombs were set off.

Marchers began at Zion Square, headed up King George Street and the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall, and ended at Independence Park for a concert and dancing.

"This is a glorious day," Hagai El-Ad, director of the gay community center Open House, told theSan Francisco Chronicle.

"Our office is on Ben Yehuda Street, where we have many times heard bombs go off near us. This is our answer to that, to have a parade that isn't just about lesbian and gay rights and equality but about optimism. This is a chance for people to express their hope and say that they want to live together in Jerusalem."

The city government refused to help pay for the parade but was ordered by the High Court of Justice to hang flags and balloons from lampposts and to provide security.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Orthodox Jews Stressed Over Plans for Jerusalem Pride Parade

Jerusalem's GLBT Center Advertises Pride in Arabic

Israel's Netanyahu says Palestinians are Anti-Gay

Related Sites:
Pride Page Jerusalem

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"Not an agora of city money is being spent on those sickos, and the logistical support is from private donations," declared Municipal Finance Committee Chair Eli Smaheyof, who is also a city councilor.

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