A group of Mexican men were paid to protest homosexuality at the New York City Pride parade. But what they wore made them stand out: They were dressed as Orthodox Jews in tzitzit (fringed Jewish prayer garments), black hats and fake peyot (sidelocks).
The unexpected sight was first reported on by the New York Times, which snapped a photograph of the men as they stood behind a barricade near the parade route. Accompanying the men were numerous signs proclaiming an opposition to same-sex marriage.
One sign declared that “Judaism prohibits homosexuality,” while another read, “Today man marries man; tomorrow man marries sister.”
The most interesting part about the Orthodox Jewish protest, though, was the fact that the men protesting were not actually Jewish.
“They were Mexican laborers, protesting because they were paid to protest, said one of the men, who would not give his name,” the NY Times reported.
The signs featured the logo of the Jewish Political Action Committee, a group run out of Brooklyn. One member of the committee, Heshie Freed, told the Times that the non-Jewish men were protesting because Jewish students were not allowed to actually come out and witness the annual parade, which celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture.
“The rabbis said that the yeshiva boys shouldn’t come out for this because of what they would see at the parade,” Freed said.