Plans for Gay Pride March in Jerusalem Unite Religious Leaders Normally at Odds

July 12, 2006

Source: Boston Herald

Wire Service: AP

On July 12, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Christian leaders condemned it. Jewish radicals put a bounty on participants. Muslim clerics threatened to flood the streets with protesters. Jerusalem’s conflicting religions have found rare common ground: opposition to an international gay pride parade next month. 'We consider this offensive and harmful to the religious integrity of the city,' said Sheik Taissir Tamimi, head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 'This group of homosexuals, we consider them impure,' he said, calling on Palestinians to take to the streets to prevent marchers from entering east Jerusalem, where the holy sites are located. They 'must not be allowed to enter Jerusalem.' The march is the centerpiece of the seven-day WorldPride festival, intended to bring people of different faiths and cultures to a strife-torn city in an example of peaceful coexistence, said Hagai Elad, executive director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which is organizing the event. It also makes the statement that gays have as much right to the holy city’s heritage as anyone else, he said. 'People on the one hand talk about the holiness of Jerusalem and at the same time are speaking in unacceptable ways against the dignity of other human beings,' he added. 'How that contributes to the holiness of Jerusalem is something that I don’t understand.'"