Jerusalem to approve budget for LGBT nonprofit despite Orthodox opposition

The 2019 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance is scheduled to take place on June 6.

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May 29, 2019 11:57
1 minute read.
Jerusalem to approve budget for LGBT nonprofit despite Orthodox opposition

Religious Jewish man looks at woman wearing a Star of David rainbow flag at the 2017 Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion announced on Monday that the budget for the Open House, an organization that supports the rights and needs of the LGBT community in the city, will be approved on Thursday.

"Dear residents of Jerusalem, at the end of this day I would like to explain. As I have repeated several times, I am the mayor of all the residents of the city and the city of Jerusalem belongs to all of us," the Orthodox mayor wrote in a tweet.

"Under my leadership the municipality acts according to the principle of preserving the status quo and respecting every person. The Open House budget will be approved by the council this Thursday, as it does every year," he added.

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance is located in the very central Mamilla neighborhood. It supports Jerusalem's LGBT community with services such as anonymous HIV testing, mental health counseling, educational workshops, weekly support groups, and a yearly pride parade.

The 2019 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance is scheduled to take place on June 6.

According to Ynet, the Open House counts on a yearly budget of approximately NIS 475,000. The organization has enjoyed the financial support of the municipality since 2010 when the Supreme Court ordered the city to stop discriminating against it and to provide funds in the budget as it did for other institutions in the capital.

However, on Monday, all the ultra-Orthodox members of the city council voted against the funding.

"In the last 48 hours, we have witnessed a real attack against the Open House and against the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance," the Open House wrote in a post on Facebook.

In a separate episode, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Aryeh Stern had demanded from Lion that no pride flags would be waved during the parade and described the event as a disgrace and the banners as ugly.


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