Thousands Come Out For J’Lem Gay Pride

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Gay pride went off without a hitch today in Jerusalem, where an estimated 3,000 people came out to celebrate same-sex loving. But, being a holy city and all, there were also a fair amount of protesters on the streets:

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.”

In addition to gay rights activists and their opponents, secular politico Haim Oron joined in on the fun, saying, “I came to support the demonstrators and to associate myself with their aims — their struggle is not just about the gay community, it’s about having a pluralist society in Israel.”