International gay pride rescheduled for Jerusalem

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Last year’s postponed WorldPride has been rearranged for this summer in Jerusalem.

The international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender event will be held for a week in August after it was cancelled last year due to Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Haggai El-Ad, executive director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH), which is sponsoring the event , told CNSNews “many thousands” are expected to attend.

He said: “The decision to reschedule won public respect.”

But critics such as religious leaders and political groups say the event is offensive as it is being deliberately held in an area with strict religious views which reject homosexuality.

The head of the ultra-religious Shas party, Eli Yishai, said: “The homosexuals are poisoning the Jewish people’s capital.”

Last year, Israel’s two chief rabbis, the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches and Muslim leaders produced a joint statement on the event claiming it “will offend the very foundations of our religious values and the character of the Holy City.”

It will be the second WorldPride, following the 2000 celebration in Rome.