Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Legislation Against Offensive Parades

This just in:
The Knesset has passed on first reading a bill that is aimed at banning homosexuals from parading in Jerusalem. The bill was sponsored by National Union Knesset Member Eliyahu Gabbai and grants the Jerusalem municipality the power to prevent parades that are considered offensive.

Police have authorized the parade but officials have added they may rescind the permit for reasons of public security.

Meretz faction leader MK Zahava Gal-On condemned the proposed law, saying that "the right of expression is the right of all groups." She warned that "the sword that is aimed at one group today could be aimed at another tomorrow."
I commend MK Gabbai for his attempt to preserve the honor of Jerusalem. However, even though I am far from a legal expert, I suspect that the Israeli High Court of Justice will probably strike this law down.

I wonder if MK Gal-On would also stand up for a parade of nudists parading around in their birthday suits. Is this not "freedom of expression"?

: You got to love the headline for this item at
Bill puts planned J'lem gay pride march in danger
Oh dear, the parade is in danger! Call the army! Call the police! Call a doctor!

Update: Ynet reports that two bills passed their first reading:
The proposed amendment to Basic Law: Jerusalem, initiated by MK Gabbay, would enable the Jerusalem municipal council to ban parades and rallies in town for considerations of disturbance to public order, offending the public's sensitivities or for religious considerations.

Forty MKs voted for Gabbay's bill and 23 opposed.

The Shas bill is more comprehensive and calls for a ban on pride parades throughout the country. The bill was also approved, with 41 MKs voting for it and 21 opposed.
The article also contains an obvious mistake which I am sure will be corrected:
The prime minister's office stated that "Prime Minister Ehud Barak does not think that Jerusalem is the appropriate location for holding
gay-pride parades due to the special sensitive nature of the city, although he believes that such matters should not be limited by law."
Wrong Ehud guys!

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