Tag Archives: gay pride

Teenage Victim of Jerusalem Pride Attack Dies of Injuries

A hospital spokeswoman has confirmed that the teenage girl stabbed by an anti-gay extremist, Yishai Schlissel, in last week’s attack has died.


Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people stabbed Thursday during a Jerusalem’s Pride parade.

Banki died of her injuries Sunday at Hadar Elboim of Hadassah hospital. Her organs will be donated.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, released a statement assuring Banki’s family that her killer would be brought to justice.

Shira was murdered because she bravely supported the principle that each one can live their life in honor and security. We will not allow this despicable killer to undermine the core values that Israeli society is based upon.

We contemptuously denounce his actions of hate and violence. We will do everything in our power to bring this killer to face justice.”

Schlissel was released three weeks ago after serving 10 years in prison for a previous attack at the same parade in 2005.

Upon being released, he had returned to his hometown, where he began distributing “hand-written pamphlets in which he called on ‘all Jews faithful to God’ to risk ‘beatings and imprisonment’ for the sake of preventing the parade.”

As an estimated 5,000 people gathered to mark the annual Pride celebration with a parade through the streets of Jerusalem, Schlissel approached marchers on Keren Hayesod Street and began screaming, then pulled a knife from his coat and began stabbing his victims.

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Haaretz notes that a police officer was able to tackle the suspect and arrest him.

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According to the newspaper Maariv, Schlissel wrote a letter ahead of the attack saying:

It is the obligation of every Jew to keep his soul from punishment and stop this giant desecration of God’s name next Thursday. Once again, the evildoers want to have a parade of sin and of all places, in Jerusalem — city of the king of kings blessed be he — in order to defile its holiness and desecrate its holy name on Thursday. They are always looking for ways to desecrate God’s name even more.”

In response to the stabbings, Israeli lawmaker Itzik Shmuli came out as gay in an op-ed published Friday in a Hebrew-language daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

We cannot be silent any longer. We cannot be silent any longer because the knife is raised on the entire LGBT community — my community — and it won’t stop there. This is the time to fight the great darkness.”

Under heavy police protection, the Jerusalem Open House – which also runs the city’s LGBT community centre – held a mass peace rally in Jerusalem city centre on Saturday night.

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Under the slogan “Love Alway Wins” the rally is being held to promote tolerance and acceptance in the wake of the attack.

Sarah Kala, Executive Director of Jerusalem Open House, said:

We are here in Jerusalem, and we will stay in Jerusalem. Against violence – we will protest, against incitement – we will educate, against hatred – we will love.”

Leading ultra-orthodox leaders have since spoken out to condemn the attacks, with Israel’s Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef asking the Jewish people to stand together in “kindness and tolerance.”

Lau said

The Torah of the Jewish people forbids all violence and [efforts to] injure any person, and especially someone who tries to kill another person.”

Yosef added

It’s unthinkable that a man can lift up his hand against another Jewish soul in the name of religion. I am praying from the bottom of my heart for the full recovery of those who were injured, and in the face of this type of hatred I call on the entire Jewish people to return to unity in kindness and tolerance.”

Attacker Stabs 6 People at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

Police say an Orthodox Jew – who stabbed marchers at a Jerusalem gay pride parade 10 years ago – launched another knife attack at the same type of parade in the same city Thursday, stabbing and wounding six people who were on the streets for the event, police said.

Police arrested the attacker, Yishai Shlissel, at the scene of the brutle crime. However, report that of the six people stabbed Thursday, two were injured seriously.

Israeli police say Shlissel, an Orthodox Jew, was released from prison three weeks ago after serving a 10-year prison sentence for stabbing and wounding three marchers at a Jerusalem gay pride parade in 2005.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the government would “pursue justice for those responsible” for the latest attack. The government fell short of calling it an act of terror, but Netanyahu did call it “a despicable hate crime.”

In the state of Israel, the freedom of choice of an individual is one of the most basic values. We must ensure that in Israel every man and woman lives confidently in any way they (choose).

This is how we operate and this is how we will continue to operate. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”

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President Reuven Rivlin said of the incident.

We came together today for a festive event, but the joy was shattered when a terrible hate crime occurred here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed. We must not be deluded; a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them.”

Israel has relatively liberal gay rights policies, despite the ultra-Orthodox community’s hostility towards homosexuals. The Jewish state repealed a ban on consensual same-sex sexual acts in 1988.

South Korean Court Throws Out Police Ban on Gay Pride Parade

A court in the South Korean has ruled that police violated the law when they banned a pride march to be held June 28, according to a press release from organisers.

Police had denied permits to hold the march, citing conflicting applications for events that overlapped the parade route. These applications were filed as the result of a showdown between Christian conservative activists and LGBT activists, who had both camped out in front of the police station processing applications for more than a week in May. The conservatives managed to get their public use applications in first.

On Tuesday, the court ruled this violated the LGBT activists’ right to protest.

Unless there is a clear risk of danger to the public, preventing the demonstration is not allowed and should be the absolute last resort.”

Myeong Jin Kang, chairman of the Korean Queer Cultural Festival, embraced the court’s acknowledgement and recognized the moment’s significance in a press release saying,

The court’s decision in relation to police’s unjust notice prohibiting assembly is important. Within a democratic country, built on civil society, the guarantee that society can use their voice has a deep meaning.”

Last year’s march was disrupted when anti-LGBT activists lay down in the street in front of parade floats. Police also attempted to shut down the event by trying to revoke the march permits saying it was inappropriate to hold the event in light of the Seoul ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people two months earlier. But the march was ultimately held peacefully.

Organisers have projected more than 20,000 people will participate in the march, and the march’s opponents are likely to attempt to disrupt the event once more. When the Queer Cultural Festival opened on June 9, participants were outnumbered by protestors holding signs with slogans like “Stop Same-Sex Marriage” and “Gays Out: Homosexuals have no human rights.”

Many protestors held smaller signs that simply said, “Come back — We’ll be waiting.”

New Boost for Women at Pride

On the 15th April the ProudWomen initiative was launched at a classy reception in Soho. A collaboration between Pride in London and Elysion Events, ProudWomen’s aim is to boost the visibility and involvement of women at Pride events in the capital. Historically, men have tended to be overrepresented at Pride.

The lesbian Directors of Elysion Events, Lauren Pett and Robin Kendall, have organised a sequence of fundraising events starting on April 30th with an exhilarating quiz hosted by the highly-regarded lesbian comics Jen Brister, Zoe Lyons and Rosie Wilby. That’s followed by a “Roaring Twenties”-themed charity party on June 20th and the much-anticipated first ever Official Pride Women’s After Party (June 28th).

“ProudWomen is a really exciting new development [that will] create new ways for women to get involved in Pride, to raise our visibility and voice across the campaigning and celebrations of the Pride Festival. It’s an important part of our commitment to being truly a community Pride with a global reach.”

Alison Hand, Director of Pride

Now something of an institution, Pride in London has been taking place since 1972. Research commissioned by the Mayor of London’s Office concluded that recent attendees to Pride rated their experience as highly as those people who came from all over the world to enjoy the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2013 the Mayor of London appointed the London LGBT + Community Pride company to oversee Pride’s proceedings until 2017. Pride is mostly staffed by volunteers and any profits that are made are either ploughed back into the festival or given to various LGBT+ community ventures.

Pride London’s current patrons are Martina Navratilova, Sir Elton John, David Furnish and Sir Ian McKellen.

To find out more visit – twitter @ProudWomenUK or www.facebook.com/pages/PROUDWOMEN

Image source – Laura Dixon Photography


Lesbian Icon: Generation Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres might be one of the most un-supposing heralds of gay pride in the United States. As a comedienne, her humor has always been remarkably lacking in the edgy, mean-spiritedness that almost anyone aspiring to stand-up comedy seemed to think was a need in order to succeed. Ellen’s persona was straight-faced, beneath that warm and insightful—generally likable. She came out as gay in 1997, amidst great controversy and more than a little vitriol. Her television show at that time, a sit-com entitled “Ellen”, ran for a year after DeGeneres’ announcement, and irrepressibly continued to stand for the representation of lesbians in the media. The plot of her show gave her character a girlfriend, and this was aired, as in seen onscreen, during prime time, in a nation and at a time where cultural attitudes that supported such a thing were very much in the minority. The network itself even added a parental advisory to the show for merely kissing.


In the past fifteen or so years, attitudes have changed. Such a change in so many people, whether great or gradual, did not come from waiting in silence. It took someone like Ellen DeGeneres to break the silence and put herself in the line of fire, and continue to speak up regardless.

DeGeneres currently runs a talk show where she continues to be the one of the primary voices, and the widest-reaching in the nation, when it comes to speaking up against bullying related to gender-orientation, and bias crimes.

This passionate steadfastness has immense value to those who continue to suffer from gender orientation discrimination. At the same time, Ellen naturally maintains a broad appeal to multiple audience demographics interested in a variety of issues and topics. She gave her voice to the scatterbrained fish character Dory in the 2003 animated film Finding Nemo. According to the DVD commentary, that character had been conceived as male until writer-director Andrew Stanton overheard an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that his wife was watching.