(JTA) — Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai led about 250,000 revelers participating in his city’s annual gay Pride Parade procession, which is the largest in the Middle East.
“I promise you we will not relent and continue to fight until we see full equality in the State of Israel,” said Huladi, a reserves fighter pilot for the Israel Air Force and longtime ally of the LGBTQ community in Israel, said during his speech Friday. He ended his speech at Bnei Zion Avenue in the city’s south with the words “chag semeach,” meaning “happy holiday” and commonly used on Jewish religious holidays.
The procession, comprising floats and pedestrians, many wearing little more than adhesive glitter and body paint, is the 21st edition of Tel Aviv Pride and one of the largest yet in terms of participation, Ynet reported.
Amir Ohana, Israel’s newly-appointed justice minister, the first cabinet minister who is openly gay in Israel, also attended the march with his life partner.
After the participants reached Charles Clore Park, thousands proceeded to the beach, where Gay Pride celebrations typically continue into the night.