JERUSALEM - Unusual coalition: Religious Jews and evangelical Christians are joining forces in an effort to cancel the Jerusalem International
Gay Pride Parade scheduled for August 28 of this year.
An international petition campaign aimed at gathering one million signatures will be launched on March 16, calling for the cancellation of the International Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Parade.
California Pastor Leo Giovinetti, representing a coalition of U.S. Christian leaders, will appear at a press briefing together with former Tourism Minister Benny Elon and other Knesset members from various political parties.
"Millions of people around the world pray for the peace of Jerusalem and are heart-broken by misguided attempts to divide, inflame and sow disunity," Pastor Giovinetti said.
“We represent a huge force of people who are committed to preserving the fragile fabric of the Holy City. Jerusalem must not be allowed to become a parade ground for those seeking to make cheap political points through media stunts while flaunting local religious sensibilities,” he said.
“We are convinced that it is no accident that the parade was last held in Rome and that today Jerusalem is being targeted,” Giovinetti added.
“Clearly the group’s agenda is to create a provocation and thus offend religious sensibilities. We, on the other hand, must strive to ensure that the peace, unity and holiness of Jerusalem are not jeopardized.”
'Parade would severely undermine tourism'
In an interesting development, the entire Shas Knesset faction has agreed to sign the petition, representing the first time that Shas has supported a Christian-sponsored initiative.
Meanwhile, Elon, who is known for his close ties to evangelical Christians in the U.S., has said he also supports the petition.
In his last visit to the U.S., Elon reportedly promised church leaders he met with that he would not allow the parade to go ahead.
“I don’t care about gays, and I have no objection to holding the parade in any other world capital, just not in Jerusalem,” Elon told Ynet. “This is a big mistake that would severely undermine tourism.”