"The pride parade is an expression of our coming out of the closet. An attempt to prevent it is actually an attempt to shove us back into the closet," Noa Sattath, chairperson of the Jerusalem Open House said Sunday.
Representatives of the gay-and-lesbian community in Israel met with Jerusalem District Police Commander Ilan Franco, who gave his authorization in principle to hold the parade on June 21.
Sattath met with Franco and his soon-to-be replacement, Aharon Franco, in order to discuss the controversial march and the resistance it has faced from the haredi community in the city. Last week, Ilan Franco met with representatives of the haredi community.
"We were told that the police are preparing to provide security for the parade along the route that we requested: from Independence Park to Liberty Bell Park, far away from any haredi neighborhoods," Sattath said.
Police sources told Ynet that, although the parade has received theoretical approval, the format and location have not yet been decided upon. According to the sources, these issues will be determined based on police intelligence information, meaning a final decision will be made in the days before the parade.
In 2006, police did not authorize the parade because they felt that they would not be able to ensure the safety of participants, given the large number of threats made by right-wing extremists. Instead, participants held the event in a building, under tight security.
"We live in a country with the rule of law and, if there is any attempt at violence, it's the police's duty to deal with it. The threat of violence should not be a factor in whether to authorize the parade," Sattath said.
According to Sattath, members of the gay-and-lesbian community in Jerusalem said they are interested in having a different type of parade than those that have been held in Tel Aviv. "We want to have a modest parade... I'm sorry that people oppose it, but it's a form of our basic right to freedom of expression."