Photo: Gil Yochanan
Haredim protest pride parade (archive photo)
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Photo: Gil Yohanan
2006 gay march in Jerusalem
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Police authorize Jerusalem pride parade
Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco informs Open House organization he decided to approve their request to hold gay pride parade in capital next week; hundreds of Orthodox demonstrate against upcoming event

Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco informed the Open House organization Wednesday that he decided to approve their request to hold the gay pride parade in the capital next week.


The parade will start at King David Street and then head toward the Liberty Bell Garden, where a rally will be held.


Some 7,000 police officers are expected to secure the parade.


Earlier Wednesday hundreds of Orthodox protested the upcoming march. Beefed up police forces assembled near the protest site along Mea Shearim Street to prevent the protestors from blocking one of the nearby traffic routes.


At the beginning of the week the Orthodox Righteous Court of Law (Badatz) placed a curse on the parade’s organizers and participants. The curse also applied to police forces that will secure the event.


Prominent rabbis from the Orthodox sector published a message which read: "To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them and may evil pursue them; they will not be acquitted of their transgressions from heavenly judgment."


During the 2005 gay pride parade in Jerusalem three participants were stabbed by a haredi man. Last year’s event, which took place in a stadium at Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus, went by quietly.


Last Wednesday the Knesset approved in a first reading two bills aimed at preventing the gay pride parade from taking place in Jerusalem, and in any other place in the country.


The bills were submitted by MK Eliahu Gabbay (National Union-NRP) and Shas MKs.


The Prime minister's office stated that "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert does not think that Jerusalem is the appropriate location for holding gay-pride parades due to the special sensitive nature of the city, although he believes that such matters should not be limited by law." 


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