Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2016.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHANI)
The organizers of the Beersheba gay pride parade that was scheduled to take place on Thursday have cancelled the event after they were forced to change its route.
Police had sought to keep the parade off of Beersheba's main streets, citing a security threat, but the High Court of Justice ordered a compromise Thursday, saying that the parade could proceed on an alternate route.
The organizers of the parade canceled the march in protest, and will instead hold a demonstration outside of the city's Municipality.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel responded, stating, "It makes no since that in the year 2016 there is insistence to turn the gay pride parade route to side streets instead of the main city streets. This is especially true in Beersheba where the gay community has been given the budget and thought has yet to hold their own gay pride parade."
"The gay community in Beersheba is entitled to equal status in the city with the police and also the municipality, and the right to hold a pride parade on the main streets," the ACRI added.
Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, spoke with The Jerusalem Post
's sister publication, Ma'ariv
, Thursday, telling them, "Beersheba is a pluralistic city that embraces and respects all communities, including the gay community."
Danilovich added, "Unfortunately, there are extremists everywhere. It is with great sadness that we remember what happened in Jerusalem
. Most of the public in Beersheba understands and accepts one another."
"I regret their decision to cancel the parade, I hope to work together to expand cooperation with the LGBT community," Danilovich, stated. "The gay community is in integral part of the social fabric of Beersheba, as such the community has the freedom to act in accordance with its world view."
Earlier, on Wednesday, chairwoman of Meretz Zehava Gal-On responded to the decision stating, "The attempts of the police and the municipality of Beersheba to hide the gay pride parade is low and shameful. I plan on arriving tomorrow and I think the public needs to show up also."