Israel joins the PrEP revolution
February 23rd, 2016
The Israeli Health Ministry has for the first time approved pre-exposure prophylaxis that will help prevent HIV infection. The PrEP process, as it is called for short, involves taking drugs that substantially reduce the chances of contracting the immunodeficiency virus that causes the infection.
Specifically, the PrEp protocol calls for using the same drugs that are administered to carriers of the virus, and prevents its development in the bloodstream. Taking these precautions when one is HIV-negative effectively prevents possible infection.
Ex-Gay therapy moves to Israel
February 4th, 2016
The United States has become increasingly unwelcome towards organizations that purport to change sexual orientation or, as they often couch it, to increase masculinity and resolve unwanted homosexual attractions. Some states have banned such practices if directed towards youth.
Famously, Jewish ex-gay group JONAH (Jews offering New Alternatives to Healing) was ordered out of existence in December 2015. But it appears that they could find a much more welcoming attitude were they to set up shop in the Levant.
Israel is by a long long shot the most advanced nation in the Middle East when it comes to gay issues. But it also has a very strong religious community in which opposition to homosexuality is fierce.
An article in Philly.com does not take up JONAH, directly, but discusses how other ex-gay groups fare in Israel.
At least four men’s support groups meet weekly in Jerusalem, said Jerusalem psychotherapist Adam Jessel, who has worked with hundreds of people looking to overcome their homosexuality. Some Israeli organizations also promote therapy.
The U.S. group People Can Change runs a seminar in Israel, the U.S. and Europe called Journey Into Manhood, which it says helps men “resolve unwanted homosexual attractions.” About 50 men participated in a seminar last month at a confidential location in northern Israel.
My apologies to the people of Israel. At this point in history, we do seem to export our worst attributes around the world.
Bryan Fischer “Fired” While Republican Party Leaders Travel To Israel on Hate Group’s Tab
January 29th, 2015
While news outlets in America are discussing Speaker John Boehner’s irresponsible invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress as part of Netanyahu’s re-election campaign back home, the Israeli daily Haaretz is filling its Israeli readers in on a trip being made by some sixty members of the Republican National Committee, with all expenses paid by the American Family Association. In the process Haaretz is giving its readers a good glimpse of what the AFA’s Bryan Fischer has said on behalf of the organization footing the bill for the Republican junket:
Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of issue analysis, has said that black people “rut like rabbits.” Moreover, in a September essay, he wrote: “We are a Christian nation and not a Jewish or Muslim one.” On a video segment on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” last Friday, Fischer was seen blasting gay activists as “jack-booted homo-fascist thugs,” and depicting Islam as “an Ebola virus that is lethal and deadly.”
…For his part, AFA’s Fischer, in a 2010 essay slamming the end of the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay soldiers, blamed homosexuals for the Holocaust: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
The AFA has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus sent out the invitation for the trip to all 168 RNC members in November. About sixty accepted and are going on the trip, including Priebus. Altogether 98 people are going on the nine-day trip that begins on Saturday. David Lane, who heads the American Renewal Project, is organizing the trip. The American Renewal Project is funded by the AFA, and is housed at AFA headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi. Haaretz also gave its readers a small dose of some of Lane’s past statements as well:
His American Renewal Project is working to persuade 1,000 evangelical pastors to run for public office in 2016. “The Lord gave me this model of mobilizing pastors to try and engage the culture. Somebody’s values are going to rein supreme,” Lane told Haaretz, adding, “America was founded by Christians for the glory of God and the Christian faith.”
…We were established as a Christian nation in the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith. It’s my position that we’ve lost that,” Lane explained, in an appearance on conservative political commentator Glenn Beck’s television show “The Blaze.” “Restoring America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establishing a Christian culture is the only way that we get out of where we are.”
No one from the RNC, the Republican Jewish Coalition, or the Anti-Defamation League would respond to a week’s worth of telephone messages from Haaretz for comment.
So far, this has been little noted in the American press, although it’s gotten to be a really big deal in Israel. Debra Nussbaum Cohen, the Haaretz reporter, appeared on Rachel Maddow last night to talk about the story. Maddow also reported that the AFA has responded by announcing that Fischer has been “fired” as a spokesperson and Director of Issues Analysis for the AFA. Tim Wildmon, the AFA’s president, told MSNBC that Fischer was now “just a radio host,” and that he was “fired” because of “the soundbite quotes, you know, the Hitler and the homosexuality one…” Maddow noted that even though Fischer has a long history of consistently making these same remarks over and over, Wildmon said simply, “we reject that.” For now, at least, while the Israeli public’s eyes are on them.
I’m still putting Fischer’s “firing” in quotes, because he apparently still has his radio program, carried throughout the AFA’s radio network of more than 200 stations. He may no longer have the title, but he still has the same national platform that he always had, courtesy of the AFA:
Don't believe everything you hear! I'll be on air same time tomorrow as always 1-3pm CT, on http://t.co/sI2xhN0XQd. Tune in!
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) January 29, 2015
Meanwhile, more than a third of the entire Republican National Committee and its chairman will depart Saturday in the company of several Christian Reconstructionists on the AFA’s $400,000 tab. So for now, nothing’s really changed.
Israeli committee votes tomorrow on partnership rights
December 21st, 2013
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation will vote Sunday on a controversial bill that aims to change how homosexual couples are viewed by family courts.
Family courts deal with adoption, divorce, and the recognition of unmarried couples for benefits from the state.
The bill, sponsored by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), would require family courts to treat same sex couples the same way they treat a man and woman.
Israel moves closer to couple recognition
December 4th, 2013
On Sunday morning the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs authorized a new bill which attempts to mend the Income Tax Act and grant same-sex couples with children the same tax exemptions enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts.
“We are talking about tens of thousands of shekels given to the parents of children under 18, sums which were prevented from same-sex parents,” said MK Adi Kol (Yesh Atid) who proposed the bill.
In addition there are proposed bills that would allow secular marriage, including same-sex marriage. Currently in Israel all marriages are distinctly religious and are under the auspices of religious bodies, mostly Orthodox Judaism. Secular and other marriages that would not be allowed to be conducted in Israel are nevertheless recognized by the state.
Giving a boost to the movement is the endorsement of President Shimon Peres
In an interview with Ynet on Sunday while in Mexico’s Guadalajara, Peres said that “even a person who is a homosexual is a human being, and he has rights. We have no power to take away (their) rights.”
Peres added: “We cannot take away someone’s rights because they are different. We cannot take away their right to breathe, right to eat or right to start a family. We must allow everyone to live as is natural to them.”
Catholic Church opposes freedom of assembly in Jerusalem
July 31st, 2010
The annual gay pride march in Jerusalem took place this year with few problems. (AP)
Thousands of Israelis marched calmly Thursday in Jerusalem’s longest gay pride parade despite opposition from anti-gay demonstrators.
Carrying rainbow banners, several thousand demonstrators walked along the 1.5 mile (2.5 kilometer) route. A few dozen black-suited ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters at the beginning and end of the route held signs denouncing homosexuals, with slogans like “Gay Play in Hell, Not Jerusalem.” Many ultra-Orthodox Jews consider homosexuality an abomination.
But, unlike previous years, the ultra-Orthodox did not physically attack the marchers and no one hurt.
However, the Catholic Church has now given its opinion. Perhaps to no one’s surprise, the Church is in opposition to the freedom of assembly in the Holy City. (SL Tribune)
The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land has sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride march through the streets of Jerusalem.
In a statement Friday after the city’s eighth annual Gay Pride Parade, which attracted 3,000 marchers, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said the parade, “its organizers and the authorities who allow it, care neither for the feelings of families nor the holiness of this city.” The patriarch said gays can “have their parade wherever they want,” as long as it is not in Jerusalem.
Ya know, it’s funny. When anti-gays oppose our rights, they love to say that they aren’t opposed to us as people or our rights in general, but it’s only these rights here that they oppose.
If we are wanting marriage in California, they aren’t opposed to civil unions, just marriage.
When we want civil unions in Hawaii, they aren’t opposed to all all recognition, just civil unions that are too close to marriage.
When we want limited domestic partnerships in Colorado that offer a few protections, they don’t oppose hospital visitation, just giving state sanction to homosexual relations.
When we ask a hospital to allow gay people to decide who will make medical decision, they don’t oppose us living how we want, they just want to protect the rights of the family to decide what is best.
When sodomy laws were overturned allowing us to live as we want without threat, they didn’t want us thrown in jail much, they just wanted to enact social disapproval of homosexual acts.
And on it goes.
So when Patriarch Twal says we can have our parades wherever we want, just not in Jerusalem, I’m frankly skeptical. Tell us Partriarch Twal, exactly where on the globe is it that the Catholic Church supports gay people marching?
Tel Aviv Gay Center Faces Threats
August 21st, 2009
The Tel Aviv LGBT center, site of this month’s horrific shooting spree, has reopened under the protection of an armed guard, among other security measures. The center’s leaders have continued to receive death threats, with the latest coming from an Orthodox Jewish web. A writer for that web site told the Ha’aretz newspaper that the “perverts” who manage the gay center “should be forced to face a firing squad.” His remarks came in response to a controversial unsigned letter posted on that web site calling on authorities to arrest the center’s leaders for “the acts they carried out on minors behind the walls of that club of perversion”.
Thousands Defy Threats To Rally In Tel Aviv
August 9th, 2009
About 25,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Saturday night to remember the victims of last week’s shooting spree at an LGBT youth center that left two people dead and injured about a dozen others. The rally took place despite threats of more violence:
The rally was preceded by a number of threats against the gay community. Earlier Saturday, a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces’ Nahal Haredi unit was arrested on suspicion that he had threatened rally organizers on an online forum.
While in custody, the soldier confessed to making the threats.
Meanwhile, operators of transportation to the Tel Aviv rally received telephone threats from an anonymous caller who warned that grenades will be hurled at attendants of the rally.
Barak Atar, the head of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) chapter in Be’er Sheva, who organized transportation from the southern city to Tel Aviv for the rally, said that “at 2 P.M. we got a call from someone asking where the pickup for the ride to the rally was. We answered him and asked if he was coming, and he said ‘I’ll be there – with grenades.'”
Another bus organizer in Be’er Sheva as well as one in Haifa reported similar threats of grenade attacks. Police are investigating the source of the calls.
The threats didn’t appear to dampen the rally. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai opened the rally with a speech that paraphrased Harvey Milk’s famous quote, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” Mayor Huldai called for a wider impact of those bullets in Tel Aviv, saying, “We must legislate and call out loudly: No more incitement. We would like today for the bullets that pierced Liz and Nir to be the bullets that break through the walls of hatred and ignorance in our society.”
Israel President Shimon Peres also spoke at the rally. He called Israel “the nation of ‘Thou shalt not kill'” and added “Those shots hurt us all, as Jews and as Israelis.” Other speakers included two who were injured during the attack:
Uri Gil, who was injured during the attack on the center, took the stage at the rally together with his friend Chen Langer and said, “That place was a warm and loving home for them and they met wonderful people there.”
“This past week I have been haunted by nightly fear, especially when I think that the murderer is walking around out there,” he added. “No murderer will keep us in the closet.”
Chen Langer, a youth counselor at the center who was also injured in the attack, arrived in a wheelchair and spoke after Gil. “This is the day in which we cease to be silent, to hide, and to alter the appearance of reality.”
Langer tearfully added, “The home that was a place of security for youths became a slaughterhouse of youths.”
Also attending the event were Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, and openly gay Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz. Several musicians performed at the rally, including Rita, Dana International, Ninet Tayeb, Amir Fay Guttman, Keren Peles, Corinne Alal and Ivri Lider. The rally was organized by Gal Uchovsky, a gay film producer and TV personality.
On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyaho visited the re-opened LGBT center, where he said the attack “bears the mark of terrorism“:
The idea of someone entering a youth club and beginning to commit serial murder – it bears the markings of a terror attack,” he said.
The premier said he believed stereotyping and denigrating people was wrong and unacceptable.
“We are all created in God’s image. We all have fundamental rights, the first of which is to be treated with respect by others and give [them] the same respect,” he said.
“Anyone who has suffered from baseless hatred, as an individual or in a group, knows how painful and unacceptable it is. This is something we must uproot from society as much as possible,” he added. “I think Israeli society has made progress toward tolerance, and I hope and feel certain that we can make further progress.”
Two were killed in last weekend’s attack on the Tel Aviv LGBT center, which was conducting a support meeting for gay youth. The dead were identified as 26-year-old Nir Katz from Givatayim, who was a counselor at the center, and 17-year-old Liz Trubeshi from Holom, who was attending the LGBT youth support meeting as a straight ally. They were killed when a lone gunman dressed in black and wearing a black mask entered the center and sprayed the meeting room with bullets from an automatic weapon. The gunman then fled on foot. Despite a city-wide manhunt, he has not been found.
Police Say They Have A Lead in Tel Aviv Killings
August 2nd, 2009
Ha’aretz says police believe they have a lead in the manhunt for the Tel Aviv killer, and in the process are trying to downplay the possibility of a hate crime:
This tip has to be examined very carefully. We are still at an early stage in the investigation, and it’s too soon to say if this supposition is going to materialize,” police sources said. Besides homophobia, another direction under investigation is that of a personal feud, they added.
Some of the sources criticized the reaction of the leaders of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, who police say rushed to make declarations about incitement being the cause of the murders of the two victims.
“They were too quick with the rallies and the slogans. It’s not at all clear – the motive for the attack may have been personal, rather than a general targeting of the community,” a senior Tel Aviv police source told Haaretz.
Meanwhile, friends and relatives gathered for the funeral of Nir Katz, the 26-year-old youth counselor at the LGBT center. The other victim, 16-year-old Liz Trubeshi was also laid to rest today. Liz’s friends say that she was active in the gay youth organization as a supportive ally, even though she was not a lesbian herself.
Meanwhile, hundreds turned out for a rally in Tel Aviv Sunday afternoon to protest the shooting. Opposition leader Tzipi Livnie told the mourners, “We need to give strength to the child who comes to his parents and says: ‘I am gay,’ or ‘I am a lesbian;’ and this day needs to give the strength to everyone in the gay community to live their lives.”
The Knesset will hold a special plenum debate on the attack Monday.
August 2nd, 2009
That’s what this Associated Press video says:
Other outlets earlier made the same claim, although many have gone back and re-edited their stories so that they now say that it appears to be criminal and not nationalistic, although I don’t know how they can claim that since we don’t know who the attacker was. He may still turn out to be an Israeli nationalist.
Okay, I get the police’s trying to distinguish this act from a terrorist act by Hamas or Hezbollah or another Palestinian/Muslim radical group. But come on. Are Arabs and Muslims the only ones we’re allowed to call terrorists? Is saying that it’s “not terrorism” supposed to reassure Israeli citizens that this was a targeted attack on gays and not Jews? What about the Jews who were targeted and died in this attack? What about the Jews who marched in the streets last night to mourn their deaths? And what about the Jewish families this morning who now have to bury their children? Don’t they count?
This exercise of trying to say that this was not terrorism cheapens the lives of Nir Katz and Liz Trubeshi, who died in the spray of automatic gunfire at an LGBT community center in Tel Aviv. It insults their families trying to grapple with the reasons their too-young loved ones were singled out for this attack. And it denies the impact that this is having in the LGBT community around the world, let alone the grieving community in Tel Aviv.
We don’t know the attacker’s identity. But we do know that a gunman — dressed in black, wearing a black ski mask and carrying an assault weapon — targeted a place of refuge for LGBT youth who were peacefully gathering for mutual camaraderie and support in the face of discrimination and prejudice. The attacker found them in that refuge and pumped them full of bullets. Yaniv Weisman, chairman of the Israeli Gay Youth organization, said, “Today, someone sent a message that gays in Tel Aviv and Israel are not safe.” That is terrorism. If it isn’t then the word needs to be stricken from the English language, for it will have lost all meaning.
Video From Last Night’s Tel Aviv Protest
August 2nd, 2009
JoeMyGod found this amateur video of last night’s spontaneous protest against the Tel Aviv LGBT center massacre. That protest took place just hours after the shooting. Another protest has been called for 5:00 p.m. local time in Rabin Square.
Manhunt In Tel Aviv; President and Prime Minister Condemn Massacre of LGBT Youth
August 2nd, 2009
Hundreds of police are swarming the streets of Tel Aviv and surrounding areas, searching for the gunman who shot and killed two youths meeting at an LGBT center Saturday night in what is being described as the worst attack against the LGBT community in Israel. The attack was condemned from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai and several others.
The dead were identified as 26-year-old Nir Katz from Givatayim, who was a counselor at the center, and 17-year-old Liz Trubeshi from Holom, who was attending the LGBT youth support meeting. About a dozen more were injured, five seriously. Ten were still hospitalized Sunday morning. The attack shocked the residents of Tel Aviv, a seaside city that is well-known for its more liberal, tolerant attitudes, and is regarded as a safe-haven for the country’s LGBT community. The Jerusalem Post quoted the chairman of the youth organization:
These were teenagers,” Yaniv Weisman, chairman of the Israeli Gay Youth organization, told The Jerusalem Post.
With tears in his eyes, Weisman added, “They came to this center from across the country to talk to one another and receive help. This was supposed to be a safe place for them. Someone knew what they were doing when they came here. This is not a pub or a club.”
“Today, someone sent a message that gays in Tel Aviv and Israel are not safe,” Weisman said.
One 16-year-old victim of the shooting noted that many of the teens at the community center were not out to their families:
“I’m horrified to think that this is the way the parents of some of my friends will find out,” Or Gil, who was taken to Ichilov Hospital following a knee and chest injury, told Haaretz.
“At about 10.40 P.M. someone came over, all dressed in black and wearing a black mask,” he recounted. “I thought it was a joke at first, but he immediately opened fire. People took cover under the bed and tables, but there were no screams. I hid under a table with someone else. It’s a small place; there’s just one terrace. Once you’re inside, there’s nowhere to run.”
Gil came to the center every week to take part in activities for teenagers.
“It’s for 14- to 21-year-olds,” he said. “Teenagers just hang out there, talking and listening to music.”
“I love this place,” Gil concluded, “but I don’t know if I will ever go back there. I want to, but it’s too soon to say.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyaho, speaking at the Israeli Cabinet’s weekly meeting, offered his condolences to the families and condemned the attack:
“I unequivocally condemn the shocking murder,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I have spoken with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and stand by the police in searching for and finding the killer. We will bring him to justice and will prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.”
…”I say to the Israeli people: We are a democratic country, we are a country of tolerance, a country of laws, and we must respect every person, whoever and wherever he is,” he said.
President Shimon Peres also condemned what he called “a despicable murder“:
President Shimon Peres said in a statement that “the dreadful murder that was committed yesterday in Tel Aviv against teenagers and young people is a murder that a cultured and enlightened people cannot accept.”
“Murder and hate are the two most terrible crimes in society,” Peres said in a statement. “Police must make a supreme effort to capture the loathsome murderer and the people must join together in condemning this despicable act.”
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also expressed her “sadness and shock” over the murders, adding, “This difficult event must bring society to shake off prejudice, and to accept and recognize the right of every person to live in respect and safety.” Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai promised that the city would continue to uphold its pluralistic values:
“Tel Aviv has always been a bastion of pluralism, tolerance and openness, and no one will succeed in hurting the city’s character,” he said. “Our city will continue to be a home for the gay community, and we will fight for the right of every person to live his life in the city according to his beliefs and conscience.”
Hundreds of Israelis Protest Attack
August 1st, 2009
The night is not yet over, and already Israelis are gathering to remember the victims of this evening’s attack on a teen support group at the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association.
Earlier this evening shortly before 11:00 p.m., two LGBT youth were killed by a lone gunman as they met for a support group an an LGBT community center in Tel Aviv. According to The Jerusalem Post, fifteen others were injured in the attack. Two are in critical condition, and three more are in moderate condition. Army Radio says that one of the dead was a 24-year-old male counselor at the center, and a second victim was a 17-year-old girl. The victims’ names have not yet been released. Eyewitness describe the scene at the LGBT community center as “like a slaughterhouse.” Despite the shock and horror, people are turning out for a spontaneous rally to protest the violence and commemorate the victims.
One of the marchers identified as Revital told Ynet:
“The feeling is terrifying. We live in a bubble, believing that everything is fine. This is an act of pure unfounded hatred, which leads to the murder of children for being gays and lesbians. It’s very sad knowing that it’s still so.”
The Shas faction condemned the attack, but Revital had harsh things to say against the ultra-Orthodox party. “People like (Shas Chairman) Eli Yishai and (former Knesset Member) Shlomo Benizri openly hared gays and lesbians,” she said.
The gunman has not been identified. According to the nationalist Arutz Sheva, the Shas party condemned the attack:
The Shas religious party condemned Saturday night\’s attack on a club of homosexuals. “Murder, understandably, is against the Torah way. Any attack is against the religion of Israel,” the Shas party said in a statement.
Apparently, Israel’s religious right can be as shameless as many in the American religious right. In an attempt to deflect criticism over Shas’ violent anti-gay rhetoric, Shas Knesset Member Nissim Zeev suggested that the gunman may have been gay:
“I am really shocked, but I’m not certain it’s because of this population’s affiliation. It’s possible that the person who fired the shots belongs to the same population.”
2 Killed, 15 Wounded In Tel Aviv LGBT Teen Center Shooting Spree
August 1st, 2009
Update: The Jerusalem Post has updated its report to indicate that two were killed and fifteen wounded, and not three killed and fourteen wounded as they reported earlier.
The Jerusalem Post has the developing news:
Three people were killed and 14 people were wounded – two seriously, three moderately and the rest lightly – in a shooting at the Bar Noir, a center for youth run by the Tel Aviv gay community, on Saturday night.
According to eyewitnesses, an unidentified assailant dressed in black opened fire from an automatic weapon inside the building, located at the corner of Nahmani and Ahad Ha’am streets, at approximately 10:40 p.m.
Witnesses told Israeli television that the black-clad, masked gunman stormed into the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building and opened fire in a basement room where gay teenagers were holding a weekly support group. Most of the casualties were minors, a police spokesman said, adding that the assailant was believed to have used an automatic weapon such as an M-16 rifle.
An earlier Ha’aretz report says that the teen meeting typically draws 30 participants. That report continued:
Itzik Dror, a spokesman for the gay and lesbian community, said he was “shocked and shaken” by the event. Another community leader said that all activities for gay and lesbian groups had been suspended. “We thought we were living in a modern country where hate is not the standard,” he said.
Gay and lesbian organizations said they will hold an emergency meeting early today to develop policy on community events following the incident.
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who is also a gay rights activist, said after arriving at the shooting scene: “This is the most severe event to have hit the gay and lesbian community in the history of the State of Israel. I hope the shooter is caught. I do not want to come out with a statement, but this is a shocking thing.”
There were signs that this was a hate crime, he said.
Police have closed all gay bars in the area as a precaution.
Britain’s ITN has this coverage:
One eyewitness to the shooting said, “The place looked like a slaughterhouse.” Another witness said the shooter had worn a mask. Civilians were warned to stay away from the area.
Eyal Amit, a member of the GLBT organization, told Ynet that many of the teens who met at the clubhouse had not yet informed their loved ones of their sexual orientation. “It’s a very sensitive situation. What we know is that in order to get here one must come here especially. This was not some random shooting,” he said.
Anti-Gay Violence in Europe
June 28th, 2008
This weekend is the pride celebration for several cities in Europe. And while pride events are a celebration of rights achieved, they did not all go off without a hitch.
At the first pride parade in Brno, Czech Republic
At least 20 persons were hit by tear gas used by anti-gay activists about 20 minutes after the end of Czech homosexuals’ march at the namesti Svobody square and the Masarykova street in Brno today.
The police and neo-Nazis clashed after the end of the homosexuals’ Queer Parade, the first of its type in the Czech Republic.
One militant protester threw a petrol bomb near the marchers, while others hurled eggs and some carried clubs, police and a Reuters eyewitness said.
About 60 people were arrested, police said. No one was hurt.
In contrast, the Jerusalem pride march was significantly less violent than in previous years.
At a counter-protest in one of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods several hundred men gathered wearing ash on their foreheads and burlap sacks over their black suits in a Biblical ritual of repentance.
Some demonstrators held holy books, rocked back and forth and prayed, while others raised banners in English reading “Shame,” “The Supreme Court is destroying the Holy City” and “Don’t sodomise Jerusalem.”