Israeli police give ‘OK’ to Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem

Duane Wells | June 05, 2007

TEL AVIV — Last year, following several false starts and delays, plans to hold a gay pride parade through the streets of Jerusalem were dashed after violent protests by ultra-Orthodox Jews and hardline religious leaders who viewed the parade as an affront to the sanctity of the Holy City, sidelined the proposed festivities. The event was ultimately held not in the streets of Jerusalem but under tight security on November 10 inside a stadium. However the prospects for a pride parade in Jerusalem this year are looking much healthier.

Israeli gay rights association, Open House, has again lodged a request to hold the annual event this year and Israeli police have so far giving the request its blessing.

"We agreed in principle at a meeting with the organisers that this demonstration can go ahead," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

"The details of the demonstration, especially its itinerary, will be examined later," he added.

During a 2005 Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed and wounded three participants and was later jailed for 12 years.

Despite the hostility to such events in Jerusalem, Gay Pride marches are held in the commercial capital Tel Aviv each year in a carnival atmosphere.

According to reports, religious Israeli lawmakers said last week that they plan to submit a bill that would allow the Jerusalem authorities headed by ultra-Orthodox mayor Uri Lupolyansky, instead of the police, to ban events such as Gay Pride that "undermine public order or religious beliefs and morals."

So the battle rages on. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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