Over 200 members of Israel’s LGBT community protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, days after the Knesset voted against five bills that would dramatically improve LGBT rights in Israel.
The protesters took to the streets outside a compound of government offices, chanting that they were “sick of your promises” and that the government should “change the laws,” while holding banners with the phrase “Fighting for Equality.”
The protests came after a Wednesday ruling against five initiatives aimed at improving the lives of LGBT Israelis. These initiatives sought to recognize same-sex spouses of fallen IDF soldiers, introduce civil unions, ban conversion therapy for minors, and require medical professionals to study gender and sexual orientation prior to receiving their licenses.
Adding insult to injury, these rulings came just one day after parliament marked an LGBT rights day for the first time.
The Zionist Union party railed against the coalition, accusing the government of hypocrisy. A statement from the party reads, “It turns out the coalition merely uses the members of the LGBT community for public relations, and in the moment of truth opposes all the laws benefiting it.”
The party singled out Likud MK Sharren Haskel, the chair of the Knesset’s LGBT lobby, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the two driving forces behind the opposition.
Ironically, this comes after Prime Minister Netanyahu elected to speak at the Tuesday unveiling of the nation’s first LGBT rights day.
“I asked to come here in the middle of a busy day to say one thing to the members of the LGBT community — every person was created in the image of God,” said the prime minister. “This is an idea that was introduced to humanity by our nation thousands of years ago, and this is the principle that must guide our national life today.”