Friday, June 20, 2008

Jerusalem mayor asks Supreme Court to halt offensive gay parade

By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

Jerusalem's mayor and city manager urged the High Court of Justice on Thursday to prevent the Gay Pride parade from taking place in the capital next Thursday, on the grounds that it would offend the public's sensibilities.

In a joint letter to the High Court, Mayor Uri Lupolianski and city manager Yair Ma'ayan wrote: "Past experience shows that the parade greatly offends, deliberately and unnecessarily, the feelings of Jews, Muslims and Christians, who view its sheer existence, and the blatant manner in which it takes place, as a desecration of the holy city and of the values with which they were raised."

The letter was sent in support of a petition on the matter filed by right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben Gvir.

Ma'ayan and Lupolianski stressed that their request contradicts the position of the municipality's legal counsel, Yossi Havilio, who favors holding the parade.

Havilio, who sent a separate response to the court, argued that the parade's organizers are making every effort not to offend the city's Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities.

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