IN PHOTOS: Thousands March in Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

Over 25,000 take to the capital to show their true colors and love for Israel's LGBTQ community, despite massive security following last year's murder.

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Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016.
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Anna Loshkin
Anna Loshkin

Amid heavy security, around 25,000 people gathered in Jerusalem for the 15th annual gay pride parade on Thursday. Many came bearing flowers, which they placed in front of a memorial for Shira Banki, the 16-year-old stabbed to death at last year's parade by Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is serving a life sentence for her murder.

The march, far more somber than the boisterous Tel Aviv parade in June, highlighted the challenges the LGBT community in Israel has faced in recent years.

A number of politicians were in attendance, including opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog, who arrived with a flower in Banki's honor. Secular and religious Israelis alike came together to celebrate and show that like the parade's slogan, they too are here to stay.

Jerusalem gay pride parade participants walk past a religious poster, July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
"We remember Shira with love" - over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Zionist Union leader MK Isaac Herzog at Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Memorial for Shira Banki, an Israeli teen slain in 2015's Jerusalem gay pride parade, at 2016's parade, attended by over 25,000. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Over 25,000 march in Jerusalem gay pride parade. July 21, 2016. Credit: Anna Loshkin
Police officers and participants sit at the conclusion of the Jerusalem gay pride parade, which was attended by over 25,000. July 21, 2016.Credit: Anna Loshkin
A member of the security forces looks over the crowd at the conclusion of the Jerusalem gay pride parade, which was attended by over 25,000. July 21, 2016.Credit: Anna Loshkin

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