Israeli President Rivlin in historic visit with LGBT community: "We are all human. When we love, we love"

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nachama visited the BarNoar club where Nir Katz and Liz Trobishi were murdered 8 years ago. The president encouraged the community members to keep fighting for their rights and addressed the recent controversy surrounding adoption rights for same-sex couples: "There are disagreements that bind society as a whole and we have to fight for them."
Israeli President Rivlin visits the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv Photo Credit: Mark Nayman, GPO/ Channel 2 News

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama visited the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv today (Thursday) marking the eighth anniversary of the murderous attack at the Tel Aviv gay bar BarNoar. About 50 representatives of various organizations in the LGBT community participated in the visit.

"I am hopeful that the state will know how to act responsibly in making decisions in a way that will not exclude any population," the president said, referring to the recent uproar surrounding the issue of adoption for same-sex couples. "A person's preference is a person's preference, that is how he was born. We are all human and when we love, we love."

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Nechama Rivlin at the LGBT Center

The president bolstered the members of the LGBT community, urging them to continue to fight for their rights. "The gay community is an inseparable part of Israeli society," he said. "We must not give up, God forbid. There are disagreements that bind society as a whole, and we have to fight for them, for society's character. Each according to his beliefs."

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai also took part in the meeting and addressed the claims that there is no need for a place like the BarNoar Club. "There are those who have said and some still say that there is no need [for such a place], but as long as discrimination exists, there is a need," he said. "Unfortunately, we are far from saying that there is equality- both in consciousness and in practice."

Chairperson of the LGBT Association Chen Arieli added that "we have a large and strong community that for 40 years has been forced to take care of itself, to establish a wide network of organizations, to provide solutions, to fight for our rights in the courts. A community that includes victims of violence, prostitution, neglect, discrimination, suicide. We appreciate this historic and important visit, but at the same time we are tired and exhausted by promises that do not advance anything and we expect our country to make clear and practical declarations. True equal rights- in actuality, and not just on paper."



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