Tel Aviv hosts Asia’s largest gay pride parade

Tel Aviv, June 13 (IANS) Tel Aviv witnessed its largest ever LGBT Pride parade and the largest throughout the entire Asian continent, with more than 100,000 people marching through the city streets celebrating a day dedicated to the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender community under the slogan “Tel Aviv loves all genders.”

Despite the scorching heat on Friday, a parade of colors and tens of thousands of people flooded the main thoroughfares in downtown Tel Aviv, which blocked several roads and brought in a significant security presence before the event.

“We take pride in our country, that gives us rights and equality,” 17-year-old Oren said, who marched with his friends to the Charles Clore Park where 2014 Eurovision winner, Austria’s Conchita Wurst, performed a concert to conclude the parade.

One of Oren’s friends told Efe, “we are now fighting for gay marriage and we hope to succeed,” explaining that civil marriages are not allowed in Israel, and therefore gay marriage is forbidden as well.

In this respect, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai brought the attention of Israeli politicians to the fact that “there is still much legislative work to be done to promote the LGBT community.”

While there is no same-sex marriage in Israel, as only religious marriage is recognized, the state does recognize marriages officiated outside Israel, including gay marriages.

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