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Jerusalem to Ban Annual Gay Pride Parade


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Jerusalem officials said Thursday they will ban the annual gay pride parade set for next week, claiming the march would offend many of the holy city's residents.




Organizers of the parade appealed to Israel's Supreme Court to repeal the ruling, saying the decision was a violation of the homosexual community's freedom of expression.


The city council, including the mayor, decided "it is not right to allow the march or other planned activities to take place in the streets of Jerusalem, fearing that it will create an uproar, offend a wide sector of city residents and out of fear of public disturbances," Eitan Meir, director general of City Hall, said in a letter to organizers.


The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter from city officials.


A majority of Jerusalem's more than 600,000 residents are either Orthodox Jews or Muslim or Christian Palestinians _ conservative communities that oppose homosexuality.


The march, scheduled for June 30, was to be the fourth annual parade. The three previous parades have passed peacefully, attended by several thousand people and with only minor incidents of vandalism and protest.


The organizers of the parade, the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, appealed to the court to allow the march to go ahead.


"The actions of the mayor, and those carrying out his policies, are injurious to the values of freedom of expression," said Open House director Hagai El-Ad.


The city decision comes just weeks after the Jerusalem Open House postponed WorldPride 2005, a 10-day gathering that includes street parties, workshops and a gay film festival, until August 2006.



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Court Orders Jerusalem Mayor Not To Interfere With Gay Pride


(Jerusalem, Israel) A Jerusalem court on Sunday lifted a ban on gay Pride celebrations imposed by the city's mayor and ordered him not to interfere with the annual march, scheduled for Thursday.


In a letter last week to Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT rights group organizing the parade, city administrator Eitan Mayer said that the march would be prohibited.


"It would not be right to allow the parade to take place because it would offend people, and could cause unrest amongst the residents of the city," the letter said.


Mayer told Israeli Army Radio that the decision to ban the parade was made by Mayor Uri Lupolianski.


Open House went to court and got a hearing in the case Sunday in the District Court in Jerusalem.


Judge Mussia Arad ruled that the city had no valid reason for canceling Pride. She said in her decision that Mayor Lupolianski could not act with prejudice against a group of people because he disagreed with their views.


Arad told the city it must treat the event as it does any other in the city. That means providing security for the marchers, put up Rainbow flag banners along the parade route and pay a portion of the pride expenses - about $6500.


Arad also ordered the municipality to pay an additional $6500 in legal fees incurred by Open House.


The group has been at loggerheads with Lupolianski for more than two years.


Just prior to last year's parade he publicly denounced the event. (story) The mayor prevented Rainbow flags from being put up on the parade route and refused to pay money owed from the 2003 and 2004 parades.


In a statement following Sunday's ruling a spokesperson for the mayor said that the city would comply with the order.


Last month Open House postponed plans for another major LGBT event - World Pride - that was to have been held this summer. The group moved the day to 2005. (story).


JOH said that the decision was made because Israel's pullout from Gaza would have come at the same time as this year's World Pride celebration.


In January conservative rabbis, Muslim clerics, and Christian fundamentalists in a rare show of solidarity began efforts to thwart World Pride celebrations. (story) At a news conference Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardic chief rabbi said gays were "creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable."


"We can't permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem," Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, told reporters at the time.


http://www.365Gay.com 2005

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Guest ReturnOfS

RE: Court Orders Jerusalem Mayor Not To Interfere With Gay Pride


Hooray for the LBGT group in Israel. More power to them.


Thanks for post the article. :-)

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RE: Court Orders Jerusalem Mayor Not To Interfere With Gay Pride


glad to see that conservative jews, christians and muslims are finally agreeing on something in the middle east; it's a start that they are talking to each other. can peace be far behind?

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