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Last update - 22:23 30/06/2005
Jerusalem gay pride parade halted after 3 participants stabbed by religious Jewish man
By Jonathan Lis and Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondents
Jerusalem's gay pride parade was temporarily halted on Thursday evening after a religious Jewish man stabbed three participants.
The assilant ran into the crowd, stabbed one man, moved on to a young woman stabbing her hand, and then lightly wounded a third man. Police arrested the assailant and 13 other religious protesters were arrested after disrupting the order.
Some 200 religious protesters faced 2,000 participants, according to police estimates.
The parade left off from the city center offices of the gay rights group that organized it, Open House, ended several hours later.
A court on Sunday ordered the Jerusalem municipality to drop its ban on the fourth annual gay pride parade in the city, accepting a petition by Open House, Jerusalem's gay and lesbian community center.
Jerusalem District Court Judge Moussia Arad, who is vice president of the court for administrative affairs, also ordered the municipality and Mayor Uri Lupolianski to pay court costs of NIS 30,000 each.
The judge ruled that City Hall cannot discriminate against a particular public because some of its members object to that public's opinions or sexual orientation.
The director of Open House, Hagai Elad, said the court verdict is a victory for freedom of expression and the principle of equality. He promised that the fourth annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem would take place as planned and will follow the same format as last year's.
The event had the approval of the police.
Chairman of the Jerusalem Meretz branch, Saar Netanel, said he "felt tremendous satisfaction at the fact that Lupolianski will have to pay NIS 30,000 out of his own pocket."
Netanel added that the verdict is a victory not only for the gay and lesbian community but for whoever wants an open and pluralistic Jerusalem.