Jewish Groups March In NYC Gay Pride Parade

Post-Obergefell v. Hodges, marchers express pride in their Jewish and LGBT identities.

Shonna Levin’s bright red shoes offset her black suit, white shirt, and wide-brimmed black hat, an outfit often worn by young men in yeshiva. The sign she held explained the combination: “For the bochur (young religious man) who lives in silence, I march with you.”

“This is about pikuach nefesh (saving lives),” said Levin, citing how LGBT youth from unsupportive families are eight times more likely to commit suicide. “This isn’t about an act that the Torah declares is not okay. This is just about saving lives and affirming people’s identities and accepting people as they are regardless of their choices.”

Levin was one of many Jewish participants in NYC Pride’s annual March on Sunday. Part civil rights demonstration, part celebration of LGBT identities, exuberant onlookers waved and cheered as decorative floats, families, and rainbow flags paraded down 5th Avenue. Groups such as American Jewish World Service, Jewish Queer Youth, and Mosaic of Westchester each sported distinct banners, signs, and t-shirts and garnered shouts of “Shalom!” A horah circle formed midway through the route around Congregation Beit Simchat Torah’s float that featured a chuppah (wedding canopy) made of a rainbow flag and a spangled Star of David.

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