“Family March” held in Haifa ahead of Gay Pride Parade
Family March in Haifa, 2019 (Photo: Violet Chemiker)
With the wide-spread acceptance of alternative gender identity and relationships in western countries, those who hold to the Biblical model of marriage and family have been ridiculed and their voices stifled. Pride Parades have become annual celebrations on all continents during the month of June, with the Israeli cities of Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa each holding their own such events. Tel-Aviv is said to host the Middle East’s largest parade, with approximately 250,000 participants in 2019.
This year, for the first time, secular and religious Israelis organized a countermarch in Haifa in support of traditional family values. The event focused on supporting conservative families; at no point was dislike expressed towards the LGBTQ community. Instead, it aimed to resist the “progressive” censorship experienced by those who don’t support non-binary sexual identity and family structure becoming the social norm. Almost 1,000 adults and children participated, including members of 5 Messianic Jewish congregations, despite Facebook deleting the page that had been used to publicize the event.
In the attached video, a woman says, “Our family is made up of a mom and a dad. We’re tired of not being allowed to say that that’s what we believe to be correct.”
One of the march’s organizers was Attorney Na’ama Selah, who describes herself as decidedly secular. “The traditional family a society’s cornerstone. Societies without traditional families go extinct,” she said at the march. “Traditional families are disappearing in Europe and being replaced with strange hybrids. We don’t want the same to happen to us.”
“Identity politics dictate the way we speak. We are made to believe that we need to be careful about expressing certain beliefs.” What worries her most is what is being taught to children in the Israeli school system, not unlike schools in North America and Europe: “The Ministry of Education puts [ambiguous sexuality and flexible family structure] in kindergartens. I call on the Minister of Education to stop this madness.”
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Violet moved to Israel in 2013. She lives in Haifa with her husband and their daughter.