Jerusalem mayor to skip gay pride march over religious concerns

A reveler at Jerusalem Pride

A reveler at Jerusalem Pride Bil Browning

JERUSALEM (AP) — Jerusalem’s mayor says he will forgo the city’s annual gay pride parade because it is offensive to religious residents.

Nir Barkat says in an interview published Wednesday that the gay community has the right to march but that the pride event is also “troublesome” to others in the city.

Thursday’s march will be heavily secured after an extremist ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed revelers at last year’s parade, killing a 16-year-old girl and wounding seven people.

The man, Yishai Schlissel, had been released weeks earlier, after serving a sentence for stabbing several people at the 2005 pride parade.

Rich in religious history and tradition, Jerusalem holds a modest gay pride parade annually, in contrast to the raucous event in the liberal city of Tel Aviv, which this year drew some 200,000 people.

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