Saturday, June 25, 2005


Oy! No gay pride parade for Jerusalem?

In the forward march of religionists toward their goal of being able to dictate what their fellow men and women should see, think or do, wear or not wear, eat or not eat, associate with or avoid, the banning of this year's gay pride parade in Jerusalem is really among the smaller shocks I've enjoyed this year.

According to Eric Silver writing for the Independent, it's the ultra-Orthodox Jewish mayor of Jerusalem who's come up with the idea. The justification is one I see more and more these days: that the feelings of the majority are being protected—

Uri Lupolianski said he acted "out of concern that it would be provocative and hurt the feelings of the broader public living in and visiting the city ...

Then there's disorder

... and due to concerns about public disorder".

And don't forget provocativeness

Eitan Mayer, the town hall's director-general, said that the gay pride march had been provocative in the past.

I've always loved that word provocative. It's so ... well, provocative, and it covers so much. It implies that someone or something provoked an act or emotion in someone else—as in "When I see a float passing filled with half-naked men it provokes a strange feeling in me. I don't know how to describe it, but I damned sure want it to stop!"

And those who find the parade provocative are the best qualified to say. After gay pride events the emergency hotlines always get a lot of calls, and the counselors try to help them make the anger, hurt and panic go away. Unless, of course, they call certain religious hotlines, which may try to convince them that they should be angrier and help make the gay pride events go away.

The organizers of the parade are petitioning the court and will be heard on Sunday.

The police had already approved the route through the centre of the New City, ending with festivities in Liberty Bell Park, which has a replica of the bell which summoned the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the American Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

Don't you just love symbols? If the court grants permission, this will be the fourth gay pride parade. Actually it looks as if there'll be a gay pride parade whether the court gives permission or not.

Mrs Hoffman, who runs the Reform Jewish movement's Israel Religious Action Centre, said staff intended to join the march regardless. "Who's going to stop us?" she asked.

Hagai El-Ad, the director of the community center sponsoring the parade, defined the issue very well, I thought—

The mayor's personal beliefs cannot be a basis for trampling on the civil rights of one segment of the population. This sad process begins with the gay and lesbian community, but I don't want to imagine the nightmarish reality that would be created in Jerusalem if a process of this sort was allowed to begin.

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