(TRUNEWS) Israel may be known as The Holy Land, but in Tel Aviv, one of the world’s largest gay pride parades is taking place as tens of thousands of homosexuals make their pilgrimage to this Sodom-like mecca.
An estimated 200,000 people—including 30,000 tourists—participated in Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade on Friday, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The 18th annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv on Friday was expected, as it always does, to draw thousands of Israelis and a large number of guests from abroad to march in the colorful parade and express this minority group’s mixed feelings: pride over the community’s achievements mixed with frustration over what they feel is the discrimination still inherent in today’s laws and their demand to honor every person’s right to choose “whom to love”.
According to The Jewish News Service:
This year’s parade began with a moment of silence for 16-year-old Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death by a haredi man at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade last year, and for the victims of the 2009 shooting attack at the Bar Noar LGBT youth club in Tel Aviv.
The 2016 Tel Aviv parade, titled “Women for Change,” highlighted women in the LGBT community and their so-called struggle for equal rights. The parade was launched by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who urged Israeli lawmakers attending the event to promote legislation to allow marriage and parenting equality, and promised that Tel Aviv will always be a city of tolerance and democracy that respects all minorities.
Transgender Beauty Pageant in ‘The Holy Land’
Activities have been ramping up all week, including an extremely popular transgender beauty contest. A man identifying himself as an ‘Arab Christian’ won Israel’s first transgender beauty pageant, at an event that brought together contestants from the Holy Land’s other main faiths in an in what they are labeling as an ‘unconventional show of tolerance and coexistence’.
In what organizers described as an ethnic “mosaic”, those vying for the Miss Trans Israel 2016 crown included a Jewish confectioner from an Orthodox Jerusalem family, a Muslim belly-dancer from Tel Aviv and a Christian ballerina from Nazareth.
Unlike elsewhere in the Middle East, Israel has mostly liberal laws on sexual identity, with openly gay and transgender troops in its conscript military. But people who are homosexual or transgender often face hostility from religious conservatives in the Jewish majority and Muslim and Christian Arab minorities.
“Israeli people like transgenders but they don’t have enough information about transgenders,” said pageant judge Efrat Tilma at the pageant’s venue, Tel Aviv’s Habima National Theatre.
“Among us there are judges, there are doctors, there are lawyers, there are people who are working in hi-tech positions and, as well, people who would like to go to the Israeli parliament and to represent us in our parliament.”
Carolin Khoury, a Muslim contestant, said she hoped Friday’s contest would “send a message to the Arab communities in Israel or abroad, to accept the other.”
US Christian Leaders Silent on Israeli Gay Pride
Amazingly, Christian leaders who claim to love and support Israel still remain eerily silent in denouncing these Sodom and Gomorrah activities. As previously reported by TRUNEWS, the 18th Annual Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv has been heavily promoted by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. This is the same agency that spends literally millions of dollars annually seeking to lure thousands of evangelical Christians from the US to visit ‘The Holy Land’.
Israel has become the best country in the Middle East for gay and lesbian individuals to live. In addition to the fact that gay people can serve openly in the Israeli military, Israeli governments have been promoting social equality for LGBT people for more than a decade. It should come as no surprise then that Israel’s capital of cool, Tel Aviv, has gained a reputation as one of the world’s top destinations for gay men.
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