Over 200000 at Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, region's biggest

Over 200000 at Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, region's biggest

TEL AVIV Tens of thousands of rainbow flag-toting revellers attended the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parade in Tel Aviv on Friday, billed as the largest of its kind in the deeply conservative Middle East. The protesters prevented the parade from proceeding through the city center for a few minutes, but were swiftly moved by police. Intermittent road closures are expected throughout the area, including along Allenby, Arlosoroff and King George. Officers will also be permitted to search revelers for weapons even without probable cause.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 03: People take part in the annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade on June 3, 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv for the parade, which attracts visitors from all over the world. During the 2015 pride parade in Jerusalem, 16-year-old Shira Banki was murdered and several others injured by Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox extremist protesting the parade.

Although Tel Aviv is dubbed by some media outlets as "the World's Gayest City" or "the Gay Capital of the Middle East", same-sex couples, whom can be acknowledge as common-law partners, cannot get married in Israel, as Jewish marriages are possible only through the Chief Rabbinate, which considers homosexuality as a sin.

Qatar leadership 'may change' amid diplomatic crisis
It provides a haven to anti-Western groups such as the Afghan Taliban, Palestinian Hamas and Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front. Saudi Arabia and other states cut travel and diplomatic links on Monday.

Each year, members of Tel Aviv's LGBTQ community choose a theme for the week of events in June.

The theme of this year's parade was "bisexual visibility".

The parade caps a week of pride festivities in the city, which authorities expected to draw 35,000 tourists. "As much as the march is fun, in the end it is an act of defiance, a statement for our society that we have a long way to go in Israel in order for people to be equal in Israel" Huldai said.

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