JERUSALEM (BP)–A massive homosexual pride event scheduled to take place in Jerusalem this August has been postponed in light of Israel’s scheduled withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reported May 5.
Dubbed “World Pride 2005,” the controversial event was set to draw thousands of homosexuals to the city Aug. 18-28. But Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders had denounced the event, saying it was offensive to all three religions. No makeup date has been set.
The Post reported that police had planned on asking event organizers to delay World Pride, since police forces would be strained during August to focus on the Gaza withdrawal. The withdrawal is scheduled to begin Aug. 15 — which would have been three days prior to World Pride.
“The homo-lesbian community in Israel is not oblivious to what is going on in the country and to the major public event that the Gaza pullout will be,” Hagai El-Ad, executive-director of Jerusalem’s Open House, told the Post. The Open House is the homosexual group organizing the event.
A recent poll showed three-quarters of Jerusalem residents opposed to World Pride, the Post said. Another poll showed 96 percent of Jerusalem’s Arabs opposed.
The newspaper said the homosexual event is viewed by many as “out of touch with both the spiritual character of the city as well as the sensitivities of its observant residents.”
The event was scheduled to conclude with a massive parade. The first World Pride even took place in 2000 in Rome and drew a half million people, drawing criticism from the Vatican.
In March a dozen top religious leaders in Israel formed a rare alliance to draft a joint statement urging the Israeli government to stop the festival.
“We are shocked to have received notice that a worldwide assembly of ten days including an immodest parade devoid of minimal propriety is scheduled to be held in Jerusalem this summer, which will offend the very foundations of our religious values and the character of the Holy City,” the leaders said, according to The Jerusalem Post. “Such an event would constitute a severe affront to the hearts and souls of adherents of all religions — Jews, Christians and Moslems alike.”
Despite its conservative bent — or perhaps because of it — Israel has become the target of homosexual activists. Two Israeli male homosexual couples “married” in Canada have filed suit in the Israel to have their license recognized there.
For information about the national debate over “gay marriage” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage