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Police okay gay pride parade route to Knesset

in ISRAEL, 06/07/2010

Police backpedal, approve parade organizers' request to conclude march outside parliament

Jerusalem District Police have backpedaled and have now granted authorization to the gay pride parade, to be held in the city at the end of the month, to conclude at the Knesset building as per the request of its organizers.

At the parade's end, a rally will be held in the nearby Rose Garden.

A number of weeks ago, the police recommended that the parade be held on the same route as it was last year, citing security concerns.

This year, the Jerusalem pride parade will mark the one-year anniversary of the slaying at the gay youth center in Tel Aviv and will be billed as Israel's national gay pride parade. For this reason, the organizers insisted that the parade conclude at the doorsteps of Israel's legislative branch.

Jerusalem Open House Executive Director Yonatan Gher said, "The parade route to the Knesset, on the anniversary of the murder, is the proper route to symbolize what the parade is demanding – full equal rights for the gay community in Israel and an end to the incitement, violence, and silencing that we experience everyday."

Gher continued, "On this day, the message that will be sent from Jerusalem to Israel and the world will be a message of accepting the other, of celebrating the human diversity that makes up this unique city, the capital city that is holy to all of us."

Ayala Katz, bereaved mother of Nir Katz who was murdered in the Tel Aviv youth center shooting, said that she will participate in the Jerusalem event.

"The message sent today to all of Israel's citizens is that threats of violence are not rewarded. The parade on the eve of the murder's anniversary is granted full legitimacy today, and we, as parents, will march for the benefit and the future of our children," Katz said.
 

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