Jewish LGBTQ+ groups withdraw from London Pride over safety fears after ‘complex year’

Jewish LGBTQ+ group KeshetUK and its partners have announced that they are planning to skip this year’s Pride In London. Instead, they will host a Pride picnic.

The decision not to march at Pride in London, which is to take place this weekend on Saturday 29 June, was due to safety fears, the group explained in a joint statement with the West London Synagogue of British Jews.

Other partners who will not be attending are Gay Jews In London and Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians.

KeshetUK’s withdrawal comes in the wake of an Instagram post shared by Pride in London on June 12 about the “devastating war and genocide in Gaza”, adding that it stands with “all the innocent civilians in both Israel and Palestine who have been subjected to terror and violence in this humanitarian crisis and all Muslims and Jews worldwide who are facing rising hate and discrimination here in London and around the world.”

The Instagram post went on to say: “We are also deeply concerned about all those facing human rights violations all over the globe, including in other wars and conflicts , and remain committed to supporting communities worldwide while serving our LGBTQ+ community here in London.”

The KeshetUK/WLS joint statement on the 24 June read:

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“LGBT+ Jews need safe spaces for celebration, joy and to feel pride in who we are. With this especially in mind, we have long valued our Jewish presence at Pride in London. We understand the importance of visibility.

“Against the background of what has been a challenging, and at times a complex year for many Jews in the UK, including LGBT+ Jews, some of our friends and congregants have said that they do not feel as safe marching in the Pride in London event as they have felt in previous years.

“We have listened very carefully to those concerns expressed about the event. Our primary duty is to create a safe space where we can all feel joy, pride and community.”

The statement went on to say that instead, they will be hosting a Pride picnic and “whilst we fully appreciate that this is not the outcome some would have wanted, we hope that you will understand this change of plan. In light of this change, we’d be very happy to speak directly to anyone who would like to do so.”

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