Israelis try to block Jerusalem gay parade

Friday, June 20, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski on Friday petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to prevent a local gay rights organization from conducting an annual gay pride parade through the streets of the capital.

Lupoliasnski argued that the Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims who take seriously the commandments of the Bible, and therefore view the public flaunting of homosexuality to be an abomination.

Trade and Industry Minister Eli Yishai, who heads the religious Shas Party, was joined by right-wing national religious lawmaker Uri Ariel and a number of leading rabbis in sending a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the heads of the Israel Police urging them to cancel the parade.

As a compromise, the rabbis wrote that they were prepared to have the gay pride event take place at a closed location, or for a small parade to take place somewhere on the outskirts of town. Either way, the rabbis insisted police should not allow anyone under the age of 18 to participate in an event that is typically characterized by open sexuality.

The parade is currently scheduled to take place next Thursday along King David Street in central Jerusalem.

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