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Jerusalem pride
granted parade permit

Jerusalem pride
granted parade permit

Gay rights activists in Jerusalem, after a long series of setbacks, received permission Monday to hold their annual pride parade November 10 in the holy city, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported, while a right-wing leader vowed a "holy war" to "thwart" the event.

Police, civic authorities, and Jerusalem Open House reached an agreement after three hours of talks at the High Court compound in Jerusalem.

"We're very proud of our legal achievement," Open House executive director Hagai El-Ad told on Monday. "The highest court of the land came back with the opinion that freedom of speech should not come to potential violence, and that it is the duty of the police to protect free-speech rights. That's important not just for gays but for all minorities."

The group had sought to hold the pride parade in conjunction with WorldPride festivities last month. It was denied a police permit, as has happened in past years, but did not contest the decision immediately because of the fast-developing hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

"We postponed but did not give up," wrote journalist Noa Raz on "Deep in our hearts we knew the right day will come and that we'll again be able to take the bus to Jerusalem, walk the streets, feeling the sun and surrounded by light."

The rest of WorldPride went on as scheduled, despite ultra-Orthodox threats and protests heightened by the larger scale and influx of world visitors to Jerusalem's usual gay celebrations.

Open House then sought to hold the parade September 21 but was told that the day before Rosh Hashanah was inappropriate for the event.

"There will be a holy war against this event. The outcome was predictable. We will do everything we can to thwart the parade," extreme rightist Baruch Marzel told Yedioth Ahronoth as he left the courtroom Monday.

Even before entering the courthouse, an argument broke out between the two sides, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Mina Panton, a city councilwoman from the National Religious Party, showed reporters a snapshot of graffiti that said "Jerusalem is proud and liberated" above a sketch of two lions riding one another.

"This is a disgrace to the symbol of Jerusalem, which is holier than the Israeli flag," Panton said.

Countered Open House members: "This is a symbol of freedom of expression and our right to live in this city." (The Advocate)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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