Jerusalem ready for a peaceful Pride event

PinkNews Staff Writer June 25, 2009
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More than two thousand people are expected to take part in a Pride march in Jerusalem today.

In previous years the event has been marred by violence, threats of violence and the disapproval of some devout Jews.

However this year organisers are confident there will be no disruption.

“These are the results of talks and agreements reached with the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox sect over the past year and a half,” Amit Lev, spokesman for Jerusalem’s Open House, told YNet News.

“For the first time in Jerusalem the hawkish camps have reached a settlement, and I hope this will affect Jerusalem’s future as a pluralist city.”

Last year Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition to ban Jerusalem Gay Pride parade.

In his ruling, Justice Ayala Procaccia said that “a proper balance must be maintained between the desires of the gay and lesbian community to march, and the feelings of the city’s residents – it is important that such parades become a matter of routine instead of causing a commotion every year.”

A petition, submitted by a group of ultra-orthodox Jewish activists, called the parade a “provocation that harms the delicate texture that exists in Jerusalem.”

In 2005 a man stabbed three Pride participants and was subsequently sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The following year the venue was switched to a sports stadium following violent protests by rightwing opponents who consider the event “a profanity” of the Holy City.

Related topics: Middle East

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