Thousands party in Israeli gay pride parade

AP News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2012 7:32 AM
Thousands party in Israeli gay pride parade

Drag queens, dancers and shirtless men are partying through central Tel Aviv as thousands pack the streets for the city's annual gay pride parade.

Israel's homosexual community celebrated the city's 14th annual parade Friday. Colorful floats with scantily dressed revelers drove through the streets as thousands cheered, waved flags and gyrated to loud music.

Tel Aviv is one of the few places in the Middle East where gays feel free to walk hand-in-hand and kiss in public.

Gays serve openly in Israel's military. The parliament and Supreme Court have granted gays a variety of family rights, such as inheritance and survivor's benefits.

Earlier this year, Tel Aviv was picked by readers of the travel website Gaycities as the top gay destination, ahead of Amsterdam and San Francisco.