World Pride organisers negotiate gay march date

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The Jerusalem Open House (JOH) has responded to Israeli authorities with negotiation after government ministers thwarted plans for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ‘Pride and Tolerance’ march in Jerusalem.

Despite this setback Noa Sattah, the executive director of the JOH, issued a rallying call to Israel saying: “I call everyone who cares about the future of Jerusalem to come and take part in the march.” reported last week that Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Yaakov Edri, told JOH which was organising the march, to hold the gay pride parade outside of the capital city.

Initially, no reason for the demand was given, but then the minister cited “heavy workload” on the police, despite the fact that other public events are taking place as scheduled.

Now, JOH has offered the police a list of alternative dates for holding the March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem.

The march was planned to take place during August but was rescheduled due to the war in Lebanon.

“The March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem is a voice calling for promoting equal rights for the GLBT community, for pluralism, and for tolerance in Jerusalem and in Israel,” said Ms Sattah.

Organisers have maintained throughout dealings with authorities and police that this years’ march was of massive importance due to an increase in anti-gay feeling in the region.

“The list of alternative dates we provided the police is meant to assist the authorities that license the march,” claimed Ms Sattah, “we hope the police and the municipality will make a decision that correlates with the court’s decision last May regarding equal rights and freedom of speech for the LGBT community.”

A new date of 21st September was scheduled for the march, but this was subsequently rejected by the police.

JOH are still awaiting a response to the new dates.