An Israeli gay couple marches in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE)
An ultra-Orthodox school told President Reuven Rivlin that his presence was not welcome on its grounds due to his public embrace of the gay and lesbian community following the stabbings at a Jerusalem pride parade earlier this month.
According to Army Radio, the president was forced to cancel his planned official visit after the school communicated its displeasure to his aides.
"This is very difficult to hear," said Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Tamir Nir. "It's very saddening."
"I'd like to express my support for the president," Nir said. "I'd really like for him to continue to raise his voice and not to be deterred by things like this."
The news of Rivlin's snub comes just days after a group of haredi activists paid a visit to the parents of Shira Banki, the young woman who was killed
by an ultra-Orthodox man during the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade two weeks ago
The activists, from the Gesher organization that promotes mutual understanding between societies in Israel, visited the Banki family on Friday saying that although they were opposed to homosexual lifestyles, they totally rejected violence.
They insisted that Yishai Schlissel, who murdered Banki, was not representative of the haredi community.
“We have a difference of opinions, and we cannot agree to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] way of life, but the way to express our opposition is through dialogue and not through violence,” the activists told the family.
Banki was not part of the LGBT community, but chose to participate in the march in support of their societal acceptance and rights.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.