Hundreds of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, queer and straight Jerusalemites marched through the streets of the capital Thursday during the city’s 13th annual Gay Pride parade, which had been postponed twice in light of the war in the Gaza Strip.
The march, which was sponsored by the Jerusalem Open House — the most prominent LGBTQ activist organization in the capital — began at 5 p.m. in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park, and ended in Independence Park.
Hundreds of police and Border Police officers secured the parade. The event, which traditionally boasts a noticeably less flamboyant crowd than its Tel Aviv counterpart, was attended by significantly fewer people than in previous years, activists said.
“Both of my sons are gay, and I’ve been volunteering for years at Tehila [a gay rights organization], which supports parents of LBGT people and helps them go through the process of acknowledging and accepting their children,” said Nita Klausner.
Asked to gauge the present level of tolerance for gay citizens, Klausner said she was heartened by inroads the city has made.
“Jerusalem’s come a long way in my eyes in accepting gays,” she said. “A lot of work has been done by the Open House – which is partially supported by the municipality – including funding for support groups, lectures, and activities during the High Holy Days for those who can’t go home to their families.”