Yochai Werman and Yotam Hacohen intend to celebrate their love at the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance on Thursday by holding a marriage ceremony at Liberty Bell Park.
Their joy however, will also be accompanied by sadness with the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki in last year’s Pride parade figuring in the background. Prominent rabbis speaking against the LGBT community, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s announcement on Wednesday morning that he would not be attending for fear of causing ‘harm’ to the religious have also done little to remove the shadow of mourning.
“It really saddened me,” said Werman.” We’re not trying to hurt anybody.”
The couple both grew up in Jerusalem, and today they live in Tel Aviv where they are studying for advanced degrees at the Weizmann Institute of Science. After four years together, they decided to wed in the heart of their native city’s celebration of Pride.