Jerusalem authorities have said they are banning a gay pride parade
planned for next week, saying the event would be "provocative"
and set off unrest.
The Jerusalem Open House group, which is organising the march
scheduled for 30 June, said it would challenge the decision in
court on Sunday.
The organisation said police had already approved the parade
The event has been held for the last three years and previously
passed off peacefully albeit under heavy security.
"It wouldn't be right to authorise the march and the related
festivities in Jerusalem out of the concern that it would be
provocative and hurt the feelings of the broader public living
in and visiting the city," the municipality said in a public
notice to the organisers.
Open House dismissed the comments.
"The actions of the mayor, and those carrying out his policies,
are injurious to the values of freedom of expression," said
director Hagai El-Ad.
"The city of Jerusalem continues in its discriminatory policy
against the Jerusalem Open House and the lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender community in Jerusalem."
Three months ago, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders
held a news conference calling for gay festivals in Jerusalem to
They said a gay parade through the city could spark violence.
One Muslim cleric suggested gay events in Jerusalem would
attract divine wrath similar to that which destroyed the
biblical city of Sodom.
Several weeks ago, Jerusalem Open House postponed an
international gay event, Jerusalem WorldPride 2005, that had
been scheduled for August and would have coincided with Israel's
planned Gaza pullout.
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