05/28/2007, 00.00
ISRAEL
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Ministerial committee calls for ban on Gay pride in Jerusalem

Draft bill proposal is approved and ready for Knesset vote. It would grant Jerusalem City Council the power to ban public gatherings deemed dangerous for public order or offensive to religious sentiments.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – A ministerial committee approved a bill to ban the gay pride parade. The Ministers Committee for Legislation voted on Sunday in favour of a bill that would give Jerusalem city council power to ban next month’s gay pride parade. The draft legislation is to go before the Knesset on Wednesday.

Religious parties and Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann are pushing for this legislation. Under the new law it would be more difficult for gay groups to hold their annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem. The city's municipal council would be invested with enough power to reject public gatherings it deemed a danger to public security or offensive to the feelings of the religious public.

Four ministers voted in favour of a Knesset vote on the bill while three opposed the move.

Last year the annual Gay pride parade had led to strong tensions in the city as a result of opposition by religious leaders.

Protests turned in some cases into violent clashes with the police in the days leading up to the event.

A solution was found when the parade was allowed to take place on November 10 in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University stadium.

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