Fostering Tolerance

Jerusalem braced for gay parade clashes | Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited

Stories like the one above beg the question: do gay pride parades foster tolerance? Gay pride parades take place only in cities that have had long histories of tolerance toward homosexuality. Certainly, the began in cities like New York and San Francisco where tolerance was informally and unofficially codified. Hence, as aerial bombings frequently strengthen the resolve of the victims of the bombing, it is fair to ask whether confrontations of this sort with abjectly intolerant people end favorably.

Most certainly, gays ought to have every freedom to exercise their right to congregate in this way, but does the exercise of this right have any effect on the closed-minded citizens of Jerusalem? After all, the problem seems to be that intolerant fundamentalists (and the neo-nazis of Russia) express and act as if they are above the secular laws that govern their lands. Does a pride parade remedy this problem in any way?

Tolerance seems to have been institutionalized in Israel. That battle seems to have been won. As long as they don’t have any power, need gays confront fundamentalists?

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