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Pride and Prejudice in Jerusalem Photo: Amit Lev
Pride and Prejudice in Jerusalem Photo: Amit Lev
 
 

Court rejects rightists' petition against Jerusalem gay parade

High Court dismisses appeal filed by Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel, gay pride parade to take place on Thursday. Judges say took into consideration Open House's promise to avoid provocations

Efrat Weiss
Published: 06.23.08, 18:52 / Israel News

The High Court of Justice rejected Monday afternoon a petition filed by right-wing activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel against holding a gay pride parade in Jerusalem.

 

As a result, the parade will take place as scheduled this coming Thursday.

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In their ruling the judges said they took the parade's route into consideration, as well as a statement issued by the Open House organization according to which the marchers do not plan on provoking the capital's residents in any way.

 

The plan to hold the gay parade in Jerusalem has drawn the ire of several religious bodies. A few days ago Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, Knesset Member Uri Ariel (National Union-NRP), the United Torah Judaism party and Israel's chief rabbis demanded that the parade be called off or held in a closed venue.

 

This year's parade will begin in Jerusalem's Independence Park at 4 pm on June 26, and end in Liberty Bell Park with a ceremony presenting the gay community's call for equal rights, with the hope of promoting love and tolerance in the country's capital.

 

Mayor Uri Lupolianski recently urged the High Court to accept Ben-Gvir's petition prohibit the gay community from holding the parade in Jerusalem and described it as a "severe provocation".

 

In a letter to the court the mayor said, "Past experience shows that the parade greatly offends, deliberately and unnecessarily, the feelings of Jews, Muslims and Christians, who view its sheer existence, and the blatant manner in which it takes place, as a desecration of the holy city and of the values with which they were raised."

 

During the 2005 gay parade in the capital an Orthodox Jew stabbed three participants. He was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

 

A year later the gay community held a closed event in the stadium of the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University amid pressure from religious elements in the capital.

 

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