TEL AVIV, Israel, June 10 (UPI) -- Israeli politicians Friday addressed the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv as the street party with tens of thousands of participants got under way.
Tzipi Livni, head of the opposition Kadima Party, told the crowd all people have the right to be who they want to be and the issue does not need to be a political issue dominated by the left, The Jerusalem Post reported.
It is the responsibility of the government and of all politicians to protect the rights of all people, she said, quoting Israel's Declaration of Independence.
Nitzan Horowitz, a member of the Knesset from the Meretz Party, told the crowd assembled in Gan Meir that as a gay man, being at an event like the gay pride parade could only have been a dream when he was a teenager.
"We will expand the struggle so that anybody who wants to live his or her life on their own path can do that without fear of being cursed or hit in the street, without fearing being thrown out of their home, and with the fear of being harassed at work," he said.
More than 5,000 overseas tourists were expected to arrive and join in the celebrations, said Shai Doitsh, "Tel Aviv Gay Vibe" manager and national board member of the LGBT Aguda.