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Jerusalem pride
parade permit denied by police

Jerusalem pride
parade permit denied by police

Only one day after gay activists in Jerusalem announced that the WorldPride parade would be rescheduled for September 21, the Jerusalem police announced Tuesday afternoon that they would not allow the parade to be held then due to the busy holiday season, Ynet reports. Police said they might consider other dates for the parade if provided by organizers from the gay rights group Jerusalem Open House.

Open House organizers had originally planned to hold the parade during the WorldPride festival in Jerusalem in August but canceled the march due to the war in southern Lebanon. Following an announcement to hold the parade in September, local police held a meeting to evaluate the situation. In the end they declined to allow the parade. "If we are presented with other dates, we will reexamine them and approve them," police said, according to Ynet.

Open House director Hagai Elad told Ynet in response, "The police are issuing statements to the press instead of responding in a matter-of-fact manner. We will struggle to hold the parade and will hold it as planned on September 21. It is important that the Jerusalem municipality and the police do not attempt to stand in the way of freedom of speech. They should regain their composure and enter a matter-of-fact dialogue with Open House regarding the parade, which will be held on September 21. If needed, we will not hesitate to petition the court. Open House has yet to receive any official response from the police on the request submitted regarding the parade."

Elad added that holding the parade one day before Rosh Hashanah constitutes "a key role in the ongoing struggle for promoting the freedom of speech, the rights of the community in Jerusalem, and promoting democratic and pluralistic values in the city and outside of it." (The Advocate)

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