Monday, June 16, 2008

Gay Pride Parade I - Understanding why gays want to deliberately offend us

This is the first of a series of article concerning the gay parade scheduled for next week (June 26) in Jerusaelm. It is an event which most residents of Jerusalem find highly offensive. This article will present excerpts from Wikipedia regarding the origins and reasons for these world wide events. The purpose is to try and understand why homosexuals feel it so important to act against the universally perceived holiness of Jerusalem as well as offend not only the majority of the residents but also countless millions world wide who view Jerusalem as a sacred place which is desecrated by such activities.

Gay pride parades are annual parades celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (collectively known as "LGBT") identities. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most gay pride parades take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement.

1970, the one-year anniversary of the riots, the Gay Liberation Front organized a march, coordinated by Connor Weir, from Greenwich Village to Central Park in New York City in commemoration of the Stonewall riots. [2] On the same weekend gay activist groups on the West Coast of the United States held a march in Los Angeles and a march and 'Gay-in' in San Francisco.[3]

The first marches were both serious and fun, and served to inspire the widening activist movement; they were repeated in the following years, and more and more annual marches started up in other cities throughout the world.

A portion of the LGBT and heterosexual populations regard pride parades as vulgar flaunting of sexual orientation, especially those of a more festive character. Critics charge them with an undue emphasis on sex and bizarre behaviour, which they see as detrimental to the cause of LGBT rights. The argument is sometimes taken further, arguing that they expose the "gay community" to ridicule.

Those who take socially conservative political positions are sometimes opposed to such events because they view them to be indecent and contrary to public morality. This belief is partly based on certain things sometimes found in the parades, such as public nudity, S & M paraphernalia, and other highly sexualized features.


On 30 June 2005, Israel's fourth annual parade took place in Jerusalem. It had originally been prohibited by a municipal ban which was cancelled by the court. Many of the religious leaders of Jerusalem's Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities had arrived to a rare consensus asking the municipal government to cancel the permit of the paraders. During the parade, a young Haredi Jewish man attacked three people with a kitchen knife.

Another parade, this time billed as an international event (see WorldPride), was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2005, but was postponed to 2006 due to the stress on police forces during in the summer of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. In 2006, it was again postponed due to the Israel-Hezbollah war. It was scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on 10 November 2006, and caused a wave of protests by Haredi Jews around central Israel.[5] The Israel National Police had filed a petition to cancel the parade due to foreseen strong opposition. Later, an agreement was reached to convert the parade into an assembly inside the Hebrew University stadium in Jerusalem. 21 June 2007, the Jerusalem Open House organization succeeded in staging a parade in central Jerusalem after police allocated thousands of personnel to secure the general area. The rally planned afterwards was cancelled due to an unrelated national fire department strike which prevented proper permits from being issued.


  1. Holding Gay Pride parades in Israel endangers the lives of every Israeli. I wonder if Israel's secular leaders understand this.
    (this is all from Wikipedia):

    Islamic views on homosexuality have always been influenced by the rulings prescribed by the Qur'an and the teachings of Muhammed which condemn sexual acts between members of the same sex.

    The Qur'an cites the story of "people of Lot" (also known as the Sodomites) who were destroyed because they engaged in homosexual acts. The legal punishment for sodomy has varied among juristic schools: some prescribe capital punishment; while other prescribe a milder discretionary punishment. Homosexuality is a crime and forbidden in most Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.

    There are many common aspects between Islam and Judaism. As Islam developed it gradually became the major religion closest to Judaism. As opposed to Christianity, which originated from interaction between ancient Greek and Hebrew cultures, Judaism is similar to Islam in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, jurisprudence and practice. There are many traditions within Islam originating from traditions within the Hebrew Bible or from postbiblical Jewish traditions. These practices are known collectively as the Isra'iliyat.

    Islam and Judaism share the idea of a revealed Scripture. Even though they differ over the precise text and its interpretations, the Hebrew Torah and the Muslim Qur'an share a lot of narrative as well as injunctions. From this, they share many other fundamental religious concepts such as the belief in a day of Divine Judgment.

    Judaism and Islam are unique in having systems of religious law based on oral tradition that can override the written laws and that does not distinguish between holy and secular spheres. In Islam the laws are called Sharia, In Judaism they are known as Halakha.

    Both Judaism and Islam ban homosexuality and forbid human sexual relations outside of marriage (with some exceptions existing in the case of female slaves).

    In 622 CE Muhammad made a constitution with the Jewish people and to this day this is how believing Muslims regard Jews:

    “Whosoever among the Jews lives among us shall have help and equality; they shall not be injured nor shall any enemy be aided against them."

    Numerous verses in the Qur'an emphasize the Muslim duty of dealing with Jews with the highest degree of respect and etiquette [Q 2:62; 3:64; 4:113 115; 5:5; 29:46].

    This constitution specifically spelled out the political right and duties of both Jews and Muslims to protect each other and their city from enemies to uphold justice and promote ethical conduct.

    It is a fact of history that when the Jews were being persecuted in Europe during the Middle Ages, they found peace, harmony, and acceptance among the Muslim people in Spain. In fact, this was the era of Jewish history that they themselves refer to as 'the golden age'. In the famous treatise by Rabbi Minken, he says of this era: 'It was Muslim Spain, the only land the Jews knew in nearly a thousand years of the dispersion, which made the genius of the Jewish physician Moses Maimonides possible. After the fall of Spain, the Jews followed the Muslims to Morocco and Egypt where Maimonides became the personal physician of the great Muslim leader Salahudin, who sent him to King Richard in order to treat the king'. During the Ottoman period and their great empire, Jews and Muslims lived and prospered together".

    To Muslims, the sacredness of Jerusalem lies in the religious reality, it being an integral part of our sacred history and thus considered an important manifestation of our sacred geography. The significance of Jerusalem is further evidenced through reference to it and its precincts in the holy Qur'an [21:71; 17:1]

    Jerusalem has throughout history been considered the third most holy city after Makkah and Madinah.


    How does the world's 1.2 BILLION Muslims react when the secular Zionistic government INSISTS on parading a condemned behavior about Islam's third holiest city???

    Given that the Quran states:

    "to uphold justice and promote ethical conduct???"

    There are 375 million Arab Muslims in the countries surrounding Israel. If the secular Zionistic government is not willing to respect Torah under the pretense of Israel's being a "Jewish" State, why not just out of the common sense of not horribly offending our Muslim neighbors??

    Between the 200,000 idolatrous Christian missionaries launched each year from Israel into the Muslim world and events such as "Gay Day" that disgrace the Holy City of Jerusalem in flaunting condemned behavior, doesn't it start to seem that the Israeli government is TRYING to incite WWIII???

  2. you might come to this conclusion in your series, but my take:

    my guess is that *they* take offense at the notion that what they are doing is offensive. they regard this as anti-gay bigotry. and specifically in the place where people are trying to declare you "offensive" and where they view your march as "desecrating" the place is the place you need to march, to take a *moral* stand against the bigotry and hatred. and then, it is specifically the choice of the chareidim to demonstrate and yell about how it is a toeva and is desecrating Yerushalayim that convinces them that it is important to come out in force to march, to take a moral stand against the haters.

    religious jews often cannot see this, perhaps from a failing of empathy, of casting oneself into another's shoes before judging.

    Kol Tuv,

  3. "and where they view your march as "desecrating" the place is the place you need to march, to take a *moral* stand against the bigotry and hatred....religious jews often cannot see this, perhaps from a failing of empathy, of casting oneself into another's shoes before judging."

    R. Waxman this is an example of being so open minded your brains fall out.

    The vast majority of people would through a FIT if there was such a parade of heterosexual behavior. There is NO moral high-ground displayed in these parades even if one were to concede there lifestyle as parve.

  4. anonymous:
    first, it is a matter of understanding *their* attitude, even if you don't agree with it.

    secondly, it is not a parade for sexual behavior, but it is a parade for acceptance, and a parade against bigotry. just as there were marches for civil rights for blacks. the marches were not to celebrate the aspect of skin color, but to proclaim the humanity of other human beings.

    Here is a march of men called Promise Keepers, for heterosexuality, and for being truer to their marriages. Who threw a fit, because heterosexuality involves sex?

    Here, btw, are my thoughts from last year's parade.

    At that time, I noted the following exchange, which I think shows how people are talking past one another:
    "I don't remember exactly what she said, but it was something to the theme that they had won and made their march, and they will continue to march and people will see they are not animals and not an abomination.

    As you see, I was right in front when i took this photograph. As soon as Noa stepped down from the truck, I approached her and said, "Noa, it doesn't matter how many times you march, it will always be an abomination." I saw her eyes twinge or wince as if she felt a 'sting'. She probably thought I was going to congratulate her, or ask for an interview, but when she heard what I said, she was like a statue, and kept a smile pasted to her face. She then shrugged her shoulders at me and walked toward the other media crews who would want to interview her. "It will always be an abomination." I called after her. I hope she went to sleep that night hearing those words echoing in her head."

    And I commented then:
    "Note the difference. Noa said that "they had won and made their march, and they will continue to march and people will see they are not animals and not an abomination." In other words, that they, the gay people are human beings and are not abominations. Tamar, the journalist, replied that it will always be an abomination.

    They vs. it. Noa is talking about identity, and that is why they are marching. A parade for human dignity. Tamar views this as advocacy for the action, making it into a parade to bolster and support sin.

    Do you think after Tamar told this to Noa, Noa will say, "OK, she has shown me the error of my ways, that I have been sinning?" Or will she say to herself, "Ouch. Someone who hates me and considers me an abomination and thus an animal has gotten to me via press credentials. I have to march more next year to oppose the haters and call out for my own dignity and that of my fellows?" I would guess the latter."

  5. We accept and love the Jew without accepting and approving of the behavior.

    We pray in our shuls alongside of adulterers, thieves, embezzlers, Shabbat violators, treif eaters etc etc etc each and every day.

    We don't have an "adultery pride" day, an "incest-pride" day, a "mortgage scam" pride day or even a "SEC violations Pride day".

    Why should we have a "Sodomy Pride" day??

    On the one hand the Orthodox community is berated for being too accepting of (ie treating as JEWS) those who commit terrible sins such as incest, pedophiles, adulterers, money laundering, financial crimes etc etc but we are not accepting enough of sodomizers??

    Why the double standard? Isn't this is hypocritical to champion the rights of sodomizers and discriminate against those who commit other offenses??

    Don't they also have rights to do as they wish despite that it is forbidden by the Torah??

    I suspect this has nothing to do with accepting good people who do bad things but more with trying to permit things that are forbidden by the Torah..... like intermarriage because they are accepted by the outside society.

    The Greeks championed pedophilia and wrote odes to "man-boy" love.

    Is this the next "Pride Day" parade???

    (I have an almost uncontrollable desire to commit SEC violations and have had to seek Rabbinic counseling in order to overcome this desire. It started 25 years ago when I was first exposed to a fraudulent IPO and the principals (Shomrei Shabbat) walked away with 10 million $ each......).

  6. "We accept and love the Jew without accepting and approving of the behavior."
    Great. Do they know that? Do we tell them this? I have not seen this message being given along with the angry protests.

    What message do they receive when,7340,L-3321676,00.html
    the Yesha council asked to make a parade of barnyard animals in order to protest gays marching?

    You aren't saying anything I haven't heard before. I disagree. There is a difference in *their* minds, and in the minds of society, such that *their* perceptions of it is different. I fear this is something you will never be capable of understanding.

    BTW, while I have your attention, the idea that muslims need this parade as an excuse to hate and harm Jews and Israel is ridiculous. And claiming that it brings physical danger is irresponsible rhetoric of calling them rodfim, that can easily lead crazies to stab people at the parade, as has occurred in the past.

    Let me pose another question. Why are there massive protests about this, and none about the annul avodah zarah parade in Jerusalem? See here:

    Aren't gilui arayos and avodah zarah *both* among the big three?

    Kol Tuv,

  7. "Here is a march of men called Promise Keepers, for heterosexuality, and for being truer to their marriages. Who threw a fit, because heterosexuality involves sex?"

    I said "The vast majority of people would through a FIT if there was such a parade of heterosexual behavior." They are not comparable. My point was not about what the parades are for, it is about what goes on at them. If a Promise Keeper event had such activities people would throw a fit (and Promise Keepers got a fair amount of protest when it started)

  8. "On the one hand the Orthodox community is berated for being too accepting of (ie treating as JEWS) those who commit terrible sins such as incest, pedophiles, adulterers, money laundering, financial crimes etc etc but we are not accepting enough of sodomizers??

    Why the double standard? Isn't this is hypocritical to champion the rights of sodomizers and discriminate against those who commit other offenses??"

    Besides the social acceptability of homosexuality, which surely plays a role in people's perception, surely there is another aspect which you are glossing over. All those other offenses are bein adam lachaveiro, and have victims. "incest, pedophiles, adulterers, money laundering, financial crimes" all have victims, and can be regarded as "mean." Homosexuality, meanwhile, is between two consenting adults. This is in the realm of bein adam lamakom.

  9. "My point was not about what the parades are for, it is about what goes on at them."

    Great. But that is not what bothers many other people. It does not appear to be the only thing that bothers jersey girl. And does not appear to be what bothered the Yesha council, and what bothered Tamar (the journalist), and so on.

    I have seen this argument put forth before. Indeed, at *some* gay pride parades such things go on. Did it occur at the Jerusalem gay pride parades? The pictures I saw were of people wearing colorful clothes and waving colorful flags. It is a question of metzius.

    And if the metzius of what goes on at the Jerusalem parade is indeed so, and that is the only problem, then surely such a thing is able to be worked out. Firstly, *this* is what should be put forth to the media as a reason to oppose it. And you can go to the leaders of the parade and explain the concerns about public behavior interacting with local sensibilities. Offer to march with them (!) honoring their status as human beings, if not agreeing with their actions, on condition that the behavior at the parade is tasteful. This might be a lot more productive.

    Kol Tuv,

  10. "Homosexuality, meanwhile, is between two consenting adults. "

    Nu, and incest between two consenting adults?

    What about two brothers?

    Are you going to follow you logic to it's conclusion?

  11. Nu, Anonymous, the sentence I was responding to began with
    "On the one hand the Orthodox community is berated for being too accepting of ..."

    Is the Orthodox community berated for being too accepting of incest between two adult brothers? Can you provide such an example?

    To further demonstrate my point, has the Orthodox community been berated for tolerating other examples of bein adam lamakom? Where have they been berated for being to accepting of chilul Shabbos? Of kashrus violators?

    In contrast, "they" (correctly or incorrectly) berate the Orthodox community for ignoring violations of tzaar baalei chaim and mistreating workers at kosher meat plants. This is a plausible explanation of the "double standard" jersey girl was talking about.

    What would you view as taking "my position" to its logical conclusion? That is, what exactly do you think it is I am suggesting?

    Kol Tuv,

  12. My point was that plenty of observant, decent Orthodox Jews have a desire for things that are forbidden by the Torah. But these desires are CONTROLLED.

    So, someone wants to permit homosexuality because it is perceived as accepted by the surrounding society at large (my point in bringing up the Islamic majority in the ME was to say that while homosexuality might be permitted by the Western society after which Israel wishes to fashion itself, homosexuality IS considered an abomination to the 375 million people who live in the countries surrounding Israel and that is not going to change. And no, Muslims do not hate JEWS, Muslims like Jews hate idolatry and all things that are considered abominations to both faiths. These are things that we are all commanded to abhor).

    Okay, so we have those who wish to change the Torah to permit intermarriage and homosexuality. Now what is next?

    Which part of the Jewish religion would you like to keep? (Everyone likes the food).

    The bottom line is that you do not want to define right and wrong from the Torah. You want to define right and wrong based upon the values and mores of Western secular society. This is not Judaism, maybe "Jewish style", but not Jewish.

  13. I do not understand why we should care why they want to deliberately offend us. It's not like there is anything we can do that will cause them to stop being homosexuals and stop wanting to be told they are "good" in spite of it.

    However, if we really want to answer the question, then we only have to look to the Church (yet again). In Christian morality, you can do whatever you want as long as you accept you-know-who as the Messiah.

    They have also conveniently changed their religion throughout the ages to reflect the moral norms and desires of the local society.

    It's happening today with many branches of modern Christianity suddenly having openly gay clergy and performing same sex marriages.

    They brand themselves as "superior" because of their socially advanced "religious humanism."

    All it really proves is that they don't actually believe in anything other than their own self indulgence.

    The Gay Pride Parade people want us to recognize that their religion is the enlightened one.

    They have everything in common with the Christians. Christians intrinsically know their religion is false unless the Jews accept their Messiah, which would mean completely overturning the Jewish religion and belief that the Torah is from Hashem.

    Homosexuals intrinsically know their behavior cannot be considered 'good' unless those same beliefs are overturned.

    Like with the phony conversion problem, I would wager that if you "follow the money" on the Gay Pride Parade you'll find it's being supported by a US based gay Christian group.

    Even if it's not and I'm just being paranoid, it seems as though real Jewish foundational beliefs are being attacked in the Holy Land, causing "true believers" of Torah to become more and more isolated and embarrassed to defend their views.

  14. I'm not going to get into an argument on the Muslim hating Jews count. I will state my position, and I know you will likely insist otherwise. They don't hate us because of gay rights. They hate us because of plenty of other reasons, such as believing we stole and occupied Muslim land, believing due to propaganda that we are trying to infect them, and so on.

    They are willing to spread falsehood to cause hatred of Jews and Israel. E.g. importing AIDS to Saudi Arabia via melons,
    and to the PA via an AIDS-infected woman, or Suha Arafat's claims that Israel uses poison gas on children, or that Israel drops poisoned candies via helicopters for Palestinian children to eat. Do a google search for "zionist robotic combs" and you will see what they believe and propound.

    Enough on that count. Feel free to disagree. On to the next point.

    We are NOT talking here about changing Torah to permit homosexuality. Who mentioned that? I'm an orthodox rabbi. I am not in favor of this. Did anyone here mention this? (I'm not sure if you meant "you" rhetorically, or were actually directing the question at me. But it seems from your response that you are misreading me as saying this.)

    We ARE talking about secular Israelis, who are not Torah-observant to start out with. And they aren't talking about changing Torah, but of establishing accepted behavior in a secular state. To my mind, they have the status of tinok shenishba. They are not *evil.* They do not have black hearts. They grew up with a different perspective. And *I* am proposing that we *understand* where they are coming from, rather than raving at them with an attitude that will be ineffective and in fact will be counterproductive.

    *Understanding* people with whom you disagree is NOT a negative trait. Rather, such empathy helps you deal with them, and helps foster peace and ahavas chinam, rather than chas veshalom the opposite.

    If I were discussing this with homosexual Israelis, I might well explain the viewpoint of religious Jews in Israel, in an effort to foster understanding from the other side, but this blog is not the forum for this.

    Further, a different understanding of the underlying reality possibly leads to a different application of halacha and or Torah-based principles to the situation. I am glad that *you* know what the "Torah-approach" to the situation is, and that you are able to know my thoughts and desires about defining right and wrong, from a few comments on a blog. I personally don't think you are correct in either assessment.

    I *will* state that a march is not an act of sodomy, and that those who will engage in homosexual acts will IMHO engage in them with or without the march. And that the issue is complicated -- there are aspects of chillul vs. kiddush hashem; aspects of kiruv vs. richuk rechokim of secular Israelis, both homosexual and not homosexual, of people who will be turned off of religious Judaism by justified or perhaps unjustified hatred and rhetoric; and aspects of turning oneself into a hater vs. lover of one's fellow man. Whether the parade in Jerusalem is the worst thing in the world also hinges upon the intent of the participants, which I suggested is simply to validate themselves as human beings and to oppose what they see as hatred and oppression. It hinges on whether in fact it is the metzius that there will be lewd displays in the parade. All of this is not, IMHO, a conclusion as clear-cut and one-dimensional as it has been presented from some quarters. And halacha and Jewish hashkafa can -- in fact should -- be sensitive to nuance.

    Kol Tuv,


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