Jewish group hired Mexican laborers to protest N.Y. gay pride parade

Gabe Friedman

NEW YORK (JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish group hired Mexican laborers to protest for them at the gay pride parade in New York.

A reporter for The New York Times witnessed the group of Mexican men picketing for the Jewish Political Action Committee, a Hasidic group based in Brooklyn, at Sunday’s parade in Manhattan.

The hired protesters wore ritual fringes, or tzitzit, and held up signs protesting homosexuality and same-sex marriage, which was upheld by the U.S.  Supreme Court on June 26.

Heshie Freed, a member of the Jewish Political Action Committee, told the Times that the men were hired to fill in for “yeshiva boys” who would normally protest but were kept away because of “what they would see at the parade.”

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The group of Mexican men was fenced off from the main parade at Fifth Avenue and 15th Street, and parade-goers repeatedly kissed in front of them.

Later in the day, a fight broke out between a parade-goer and an Orthodox man associated with the group.

“It’s been a lot of confrontation,” Freed told the Times. “Whenever you have emotions, you have a situation.”

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