TEL AVIV, IS — It what has been labeled as the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, 200,000 people turned out to celebrate Tel Aviv Pride. Openly gay members of the Israeli military were evident, showcased for all to see by going shirtless in the crowd.
Despite its location near orthodox Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is one of the world’s most popular gay destinations. Since its founding, Israel has expressed tolerance for all sexual orientations, a rarity in a region where Muslims are prevalent. Israel made same-sex sexual activity legal in 1988. Although same-sex marriage is still not recognized, same-sex cohabitation is.
During the Pride parade, a moment of silence was reported in memory of Shira Banki, a 16-year-old who was stabbed to death during Jerusalem’s parade last year. A radical ultra-Orthodox Jew was convicted of the crime.
Photo Credit: timesofisrael.com