by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
Jerusalem’s eighth LGBT pride parade attracted thousands of marchers July 29 along with anti-gay protesters. The counterdemonstrators carried banners calling gay people sick.
The parade traveled from Independence Park downtown to the Wohl Rose Park in front of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Thousands of police officers protected the procession and arrested a few people who tried to disrupt the festivities.
Organizers said the march marked “the end of a year of mourning and the beginning of a year of activism in pursuit of LGBT rights and the eradication of discrimination and hate.”
Last Sept. 1, a masked man entered a youth-group meeting in the basement of Bar Noar, an LGBT youth organization in Tel Aviv, and shot to death the group’s leader, Nir Katz, and 16-year-old Liz Trobishi. Eleven others were injured, including two teens who were left permanently disabled. The gunman remains at large.
This year’s march had a long list of demands, including coverage for gender-modification surgery under basic health insurance, approval for men who have sex with men to donate blood, modification of surrogacy laws, recognition of the parental status of non-biological parents, recognition of foreign same-sex marriages, extension to same-sex couples of the rights given couples in common-law unions, and reform of local policies that prevent official funding of LGBT organizations.