World Pride Event Scheduled to Replace Pride Parade Also Cancelled by Jerusalem Police

By Terry Vanderheyden

JerusalemJERUSALEM, August 9, 2006 ( – An “anti-homophobia” rally intended to replace the World Pride Parade that had been originally scheduled for today in Jerusalem has also been cancelled by police.

Although World Pride organizers chose Jerusalem as the city to hold the large homosexual event, including the Pride Parade, the larger Parade event was forced to fold in part because of public opposition to the event, and in part because of the recent military action in the region. Organizers however, chose to schedule an alternate event, a “Protest Against Hatred”, at the same time on the same date as the parade was originally slotted to go ahead.

“The pride parade will not take place at this time due to the fighting in the north, but it will take place immediately upon the cessation of the conflict,” stated Open House organizers Hagai El-Ad and Noa Sattath, according to a YNet news report. “The struggle for human right (sic), equality and a sane Jerusalem is critical. We call upon anyone who identifies with these values to take part in the watch.”

“We decided to conduct the protest watch in order to say to instigators who oppose us that we will not break, not be silent, and we will fight against the dirty waves of hatred, incitement, and prejudice,” said El-Ad and Sattath.

Jerusalem police, however, announced today that the protest, planned for a central city park, is also banned.

Organizers again vowed to carry on with the demonstration anyway, despite warnings from police of potential violence.

“There is no legal basis to the police decision as such an event, which is not a demonstration, does not require a license,” claimed El-Ad, according to a Jerusalem Post report.

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby countered that because Open House officials could offer no assurance that the protest would be limited in number and not spill out onto surrounding streets, the police have legal capacity to proscribe the event.

The current World Pride event is the second ever World Pride, and was intentionally planned for a city considered holy by three major world religions that emphasize traditional moral principles as reflecting the will of God. The first World Pride demonstration targeted the Catholic Church in Rome and coincided with the Jubilee in 2000, despite the protestations of Catholic leaders.

Residents ofÂJerusalem were overwhelmingly opposed to the international event, with 75% of people questioned saying they did not want the activity to take place, according to a public opinion poll released last year.

See related coverage:

Petition Drive Launched to Stop Homosexual Assault Against Jerusalem

Jerusalem WorldPride Parade Cancelled Due to Israeli-Lebanese Violence

Middle East Hostilities May Cancel Homosexual ‘WorldPride’ in Jerusalem

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