Since we just finished Gay Pride here in West Hollywood– And Gay Pride celebrations are still going on all over the country (June is gay pride month-because that is when the Stonewall Riots took place in New York City in June of 1969) I want to share with you the words of Member of Knesset Tzipi Livni. She spoke last week at Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride celebration.
Tzipi Livni is a true leader in Israel. She is the opposition leader to Netanyahu. She is the leader of the Kadima Party. She was designated as Prime Minister but couldn’t put a government together that would hold. She has served as Deputy Prime Minister and is one to watch. She will someday be Prime Minister I believe.
Here is her speech at Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride celebration last week.
MK Zipi Livni’s speach at Pride 2011:
I came here today to talk about rights. About freedom, liberty, and the right to live in dignity and with love, respect and love the state of civil society as a family. I say that being a member of the gay community, being gay or lesbian or any other member of the community, is not a political choice as the protection of the gay community and its right to equality in society – is not and should not be a political choice.
The struggle for equality for all citizens without exception, not the monopoly of the left or of any political party – is an obligation of every person, of any leader of any party. It is not enough to boast about Israel’s values, especially compare to countries in the region in energetic speeches. One should keep the same values, protect them and make them true in legislation. To anchor these values in education – in all educational institutions from preschool, every kindergarten, every school, in any language. The real question is not when to start or end summer vacation but whether the freedom to live as you are is respected in all schools, without exception, and is unconditional.
The gay community is not a phenomenon of so-called “State of Tel Aviv.” Even if this is the place where it does not have to hide – what you see here is far from being in the closet.
It is out and proud. There are community members throughout the country, the center, north and south, secular and religious. Not everyone feels strong enough , equal enough or proud enough. There are teenagers who are afraid to tell their parents since they think the price for their truth may be the love of their parents. Unfortunately there are still parents who are prisoners of their prejudices who can not accept their kids as they are.
We are here to give everyone the power to fight for equality. To stand together against violence .Young lives were the price paid for this hatred, here, not long ago and that we need to remember for the future.
We are here to fight together against any such thing. Fight for the values of Israel and I want today to go back, to quote and say the values for which this country was built. Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace.
As envisaged by the prophets of Israel, equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, ensuring freedom of religion, freedom of opinion, conscience, language, education and culture.
This is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence can not remain a dead letter .The vision of the prophets of Israel speaks of freedom, justice and peace, this is true Judaism “Love your neighbor as yourself.” and not Judaism that is based on hatred. In this Day today, together, we need to protect those values.
The struggle for these values will be not only on the platforms in this parade, here in Tel Aviv’s gay community, but on every platform in Israel, leaded by Knesset podium – then Israel will be a better state for all its citizens.