Clerics Refuse to Tolerate Gay Tolerance Event in Jerusalem.
International gay leaders are planning a 10-day WorldPride festival and parade in Jerusalem this August, hoping to make a statement about tolerance and diversity in a city that is home to three global religious traditions, the New York Times reports.
In response, Israel's chief Sephardic and Ashkenazi rabbis, the patriarchs of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and three senior Muslim prayer leaders are making a rare show of unity, saying the festival is something they just won't tolerate.
"They are creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable," Rabbi Shlomo Amar told a news conference. Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, added: "We can't permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem."
The leaders' joint opposition was initially generated by the Rev. Leo Giovinetti, an evangelical pastor from San Diego whom the Times calls a veteran of the American culture war over homosexuality and a frequent visitor to Israel. Organizers of the gay pride event said that 75 non-Orthodox rabbis had signed a statement of support, and that Christian and Muslim leaders as well as Israeli politicians were expected to announce their support soon.
(3-31-05 WSJ online.)