High Court rejects petition asking to ban Jerusalem Gay Pride parade
Justice Procaccia: These events should become a matter of routine rather than sparking commotion every year.
The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition submitted by Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, followers of slain ultra-rightist Rabbi Meir Kahane, in their bid to prevent a Gay Pride parade from being held in Jerusalem this week.
The parade will take place as planned on Thursday.
In the past, opposition to the parade has been spearheaded by ultra-Orthodox groups, with yeshiva students protesting in night-long battles with police. But the ultra-Orthodox have maintained a low profile this year, apparently wary of drawing more attention to the parade.
In their ruling, the justices took into consideration the parade route, the length of time it would take and the organizer's promise that the parade would be muted in nature.
Earlier Monday, the judges recommended that the petitioners withdraw their petition. During the hearing, Justice Ayala Procaccia said that "a proper balance must be maintained between the desires of the gay/lesbian community to march, and the feelings of the city's residents - it is important that such parades become a matter of routine instead of causing a commotion every year."
Last Thursday, the Jerusalem municipality called on the High Court of Justice to ban the parade, saying it was a "provocation that harms the delicate texture that exists in Jerusalem."
The organizers of the parade responded that "all the parties in Jerusalem, including the police and the representatives of the ultra-Orthodox, have found ways to work together, so as to spare the city needless hate. The parade will be conducted quietly and with pride."
The march is expected to depart from Gan Ha'atzmaut in Jerusalem, continue through King David Street and will end in a big rally at Gan Hapa'amon.
It appears that the protests against the Gay Pride parade will be far less substantial than in previous years, especially because of the religious community's understanding that it is precisely their protest that grants so much publicity to the event and exposes their youth to the gay/lesbian community.