Israeli gays target MPs over proposed ban on marches
LGBT activists in Israel have targeted the homes of two homophobic members of Parliament with posters protesting their support of a ban on gay Pride.
Nissim Zeev and Eliahu Gabbay’s residences were visited by Jerusalem Open House, a group fighting for the right to march in the city.
“In this house lives an MK (MP) who is trying to outlaw the citizens’ right to march and protest on the streets of Jerusalem,” one of the posters read.
“This anti-democratic bill is targeting not only the homosexual, lesbian, transgender and bisexual communities, but also human and civil rights in general.”
Last week the Knesset, the country’s parliament, discussed new legislation that would enable Jerusalem’s city authorities to ban gay Pride parades on the grounds that they might offend religious people or create a disturbance.
During the debate Mr Zeev, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, restated his view that gay people should be put in rehabilitation centres and called the gay rights movement a “plague that may destroy Jewish Israel” that should be dealt with by the Ministry of Health.
Yaniv Rosner, a member of Hadash’s “Red-Pink Forum,” told Ynetnews.com:
“There is no precedent to such legislation.
“This is way past being only about the gay community; it is a question of whether the right to protest is a basic, democratic right in Israel.”
Last year’s gay Pride march took place in June despite violent protest from Orthodox Jewish groups.
Around 5,000 people took part, protected by 7,000 police officers.
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In the week leading up to Pride 10,000 religious Jews protested and rioted, burning tyres and attacking police cars, but the Israeli Supreme Court ruled the parade should go ahead.
Jerusalem Pride has been denounced by conservative Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders who regard the city as holy.
In 2006 it was was delayed and then cancelled, with a Pride gathering held in a sports stadium instead.
The Jerusalem Post reported in June that three quarters of the city’s residents oppose the Pride parade.
In April an explosive device detonated near Jerusalem was thought to be the work of ultra-Orthodox Jews protesting against the Pride event.
In 2005, an Orthodox Jewish protester stabbed and wounded three people at Jerusalem Pride.