A politcal party devoted to LGBTI issues will be founded in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Tuesday (7 August).
The founders have said it will be Israel’s only political party solely dedicated to progressing rights of the LGBTI community, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The party’s founder, Imri Kalmann, said that LGBTI representation would be better handled by a party devoted to LGBTI issues, made up of members of the LGBTI community.
‘A lot of parties like saying they promote gay rights, but we can better run our struggles by ourselves,’ Kalmann said. ‘Straight people can’t really represent us.
‘It’s time to have our own representatives. We are an organized community, and the way we accomplished so much so far has been to work for ourselves.’
Kalmann, the chief executive officer of a marketing company, maintained that while mainstream political parties in Israel often publicly announce their support for the LGBTI community, these sentiments rarely translate into action, such as hiring more LGBTI staff members.
Kalmann pointed to the Tel Aviv Pride, which attracts over 250,000 attendees, as evidence that many Israelis are interested in progression of the LGBTI cause. ‘That proves a lot of people see it as an important issue and part of their values and all that is missing is their right to vote for it,’ he said.
Political tensions over LGBTI rights
Tel Aviv is known as a hub for the LGBTI community in the Middle East.
However, in recent weeks Israel has seen political tensions heighten with regards to LGBTI rights.
Last month, massive nation-wide protests brought several of Israel’s cities to a standstill after a state-sponsored surrogacy bill failed to include LGBTI couples. Some of Israel’s biggest companies and multinational firms pledged their support for the equal surrogacy rights for the LGBTI community.
The protests contributed to last week’s Jerusalem Pride being conducted under tight security.
Over 20,000 people attended the Pride march, alongside thousands of police and security personnel lining the streets.