After murder at 2015’s Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, members of gay community see increased acceptance even as some spiritual leaders double down on rejection
When Ben Katz witnessed the violence that beset the 2015 Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, which saw an ultra-Orthodox man go on a stabbing rampage that led to the death of a teenage girl, he was shocked but not surprised.
As a religious gay man, Katz was no stranger to homophobia. In fact, he had faced a difficult struggle having come out as gay in his yeshiva. Just a year earlier, Katz experienced frustrating conversations with his rabbi and ultimately decided to step down from his teaching position at the religious school.
What happened at the parade that day changed everything in a way that Katz would have never anticipated.
“I was running away from the mayhem,” Katz recalled. “My phone was only about 5 percent [charged], so I uploaded a status to Facebook just to let people know that there was a stabbing at the parade but I got away. When I logged into Facebook that night, I got a message from my rabbi checking that I was alright. That was huge.”