Magazine article Herizons

Gay Rights Renewed after Shooting

Magazine article Herizons

Gay Rights Renewed after Shooting

Article excerpt

(JERUSALEM) The killing of a young woman and man at a Tel Aviv gay and lesbian centre has prompted Israeli activists to renew their fight for equality.

On August 1, a masked gunman burst into the basement of Tel Aviv's Gay and Lesbian Association building and opened fire on a weekly support group meeting, killing 26-yearold Nir Katz and 16-year-old Liz Trubeshi. Ten others were injured during the attack.

No arrests have been made. Katz worked as a counsellor at the centre for the past three years and lived with his partner of four years.

"Sadly, it was certainly not the first homophobic expression we have encountered," said Itzik Tzaror, spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Association. The group was founded 15 years ago to provide young gays and lesbians with a place of refuge, counselling and support to come out.

"Eighty percent of gay teens have been subject to verbal abuse due to their sexual orientation and about half of them have suffered some sort of physical and/or sexual abuse," he explained.

A week after the killings, a rally was held at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Among the 70,000 attendees was Israeli President Shimon Peres, who told the crowd that every person has the freedom to be who he or she is.

"The gunshots that hit the gay community earlier this week hit us all- as people, as Jews, as Israelis. The person who pointed the gun at Nir Katz and Liz Trubeshi pointed it at all of you as well, at all of us, at you, at me. …

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