Friday, June 16, 2006
WORLDPRIDE RESPONSE TO ATTACKS BY JERUSALEM MAYOR AND LOCAL EXTREMISTS
from Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director of Jerusalem Open House, the main organizer of WorldPride
"This week an orchestrated campaign to sabotage Jerusalem WorldPride has been launched by those who propagate the fallacy that only they have a right to claim faith as their mantle. This campaign will fail, as it has in previous years; but the news that the Mayor of Jerusalem has signed a petition calling for the cancellation of WorldPride - accompanied by reports that extremist Jewish preacher Amnon Yitzhak is planning a so-called "humility march" in opposition of WorldPride - should be troubling to anyone who believes in Jerusalem as a welcoming city for all people.
The Jerusalem courts have decreed that WorldPride deserves the support of the city, and that pride is a protected form of freedom of speech. The Jerusalem public has shown its support for pride by attending it in the thousands over the past years. In addition, WorldPride is receiving the unconditional support of thousands of individuals and scores of groups around the world who will converge in Jerusalem in August to discuss and debate important issues in our community - from religion to politics to health to youth.
The truth is that WorldPride represents something that should make religious and political extremists very uncomfortable. WorldPride will be a historic and diverse international event bringing together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied people proclaiming to the world that we too are people of faith and that we will not allow anyone to hijack our religions, our freedom or our rights.
The Jerusalem Open House looks forward to welcoming in Jerusalem thousands of our supporters this August, for a weeklong, memorable, meaningful, safe, and exiting experience - Jerusalem WorldPride 2006, commencing in 50 days on August 6."