June 27, 2009

Holy city’s gay pride march ends peacefully

by David Masters

A gay pride parade through Jerusalem yesterday ended peacefully, with anti-gay campaigners resorting only to nonviolent protest.

Around 2,000 marchers were marshalled by 1,500 police officers, with clashes between ultra-Orthodox Jews and the parade limited to one egg throwing incident.

Marchers in the parade waved rainbow and Israeli flags, and had dressed themselves up in rainbow coloured clothes.

Past gay pride parades in the holy city have sparked violent confrontations between marchers and ultra-Orthodox Jews, who view homosexuality as an abomination.

In 2005, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish protester stabbed and wounded three participants in the gay pride march.

Police had believed the event would run more smoothly this year as ultra-Orthodox leaders, who in the past led the anti-gay protests, said they would not be protesting this year to avoid exposing young people to homosexuality.

A gay pride parade in Tel Aviv earlier this month attracted at least 20,000 participants.

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