First Pride parade held in Raanana


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The central Israeli bedroom community of Raanana held its first Pride march.

As many as 3,000 people took part in the parade in a city of some 80,000 residents that is about one-quarter haredi Orthodox, according to Haaretz.

The majority of the marchers on Raanana’s main street were under 21, according to the newspaper. The local chapter of the Scouts movement and the local branch of IGY, Israel’s LGBTQ youth movement, took the lead in planning the event, Haaretz reported.

Raanana Mayor Chaim Broyde is the father of a gay son and spoke at the march.

Police reported that seven people were arrested on suspicion of planning to disturb the event, and a small rally against the parade was held outside a local synagogue, Mynet reported.

Four days before the parade, several hundred demonstrators protested the march in front of City Hall with signs reading “In our city, two dads don’t make a family” and “A Jewish state doesn’t oppose the Torah,” according to Haaretz.

On Wednesday, City Councilman  Eliyahu Alush, who heads the municipality’s United Religious List, resigned his position, accusing Broyde of dealing a “severe blow” to ties between secular and religious residents of the city, The Times of Israel reported.

Many of the city’s residents are immigrants from English-speaking countries, France and Latin America.

The newspaper reported that Pride events were held this year in 20 smaller cities and towns, including 11 for the first time. Among the places where Pride events were scheduled to be held were Beit Shemesh, the Jordan Valley, Kiryat Bialik, Netanya, Pardes Hannah, Petach Tikvah, Ramat Gan, Tiberias, Yavne and  Zichron Yaakov.

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