Tens of thousands of participants are expected to take part in today’s 15th Jerusalem Pride March. Organizers from the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) are calling for acceptance and respect at the annual event.
Whereas Tel Aviv Pride is one of the city’s biggest events, the Jerusalem LGTBQ community hosts a smaller but even more poignant parade.
“Attending this year’s march is more important than ever. Unfortunately, we still hear voices of hatred these days, trying to prevent us from executing the Pride march, deny us from our right to march for equality and tolerance,” said Sarah Kala-Meir, CEO of JOH. “I call everyone who believes in human rights, regardless their religion, race, sex, or sexual orientation — march with us, help us to bring light to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, against all darkness and evil.”
This year’s march — titled “Here to Stay” — is dedicated to Shira Banki, the 16-year-old participant murdered at last year’s parade. Her father, Ori, put out a call to “everyone who cares for tolerance in Jerusalem and all of Israel – will and should find themselves in this year’s march. You are invited to bring flowers, we will lay them where a knife once stabbed last year.”
The Pride event is to include a wedding ceremony, speeches and musical performances.