Israeli Supreme Court mandates municipal funding of lgbt center in Jerusalem

by on September 17, 2010  •  In Religion

The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the city government of Jerusalem must provide funding to the Jersualem Open House, the city's lgbt community center, in that same way that it funds other similar centers. By contrast to Tel Aviv, which has long had such a center and provides much greater support to lgbt activities, the much more religious (i.e. Orthodox) dominated Jerusalem had refused multiple times to support Open House.

Details reported in the Boston Edge:

The verdict marked the end of a years-long process of legal challenges, victories, setbacks, and appeals. Open House had sought legal redress by going to administrative court, and had gotten funding for 2003, 2004, and 2005. But when the city denied Open House funds for subsequent years and the court sided with the city, Open House took the matter further. Finally, the Supreme Court weighed in with a judgment in favor of the LGBT community center and an order for the city to pay Open House $120,000. Moreover, the court required that funding policies be revised to that similar community centers will also receive municipal funds.

"The history of the relationship between the sides reveals that the appellant’s hand reaching out for support has met time and time again with the miserly hand of the municipality," the opinion handed down by the judges read. "We cannot but express hope that the municipality will not behave stingily again and that the sides can shake hands without further involving the court."

On his own, Justice Hanan Melcer wrote that the sort of thinly disguised discrimination the city showed toward the community center "has no place in the 21st century."…

Israel is a democracy politically, but socially the country is influenced by religion. Conservatives point to their faith as a justification for anti-gay prejudices. Gay pride marches in Jerusalem have been beset by protests and violence, mainly from adherents of the Ultra-Orthodox tradition… [F]ive years ago, Jerusalem Pride was marred by a knife attack in which an Ultra-Orthodox protester stabbed three marchers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *