Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi Asks For Removal of Rainbow Flags Before Pride

Shortly before the Jerusalem Pride events this week, Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern wrote a letter to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. According to The Jerusalem Post, Stern wrote that it “greatly saddened” him that event was happening at all and asked that the gay Pride flags that were lining the streets of the parade be removed near two major Jerusalem synagogues.

“Although it has already been made clear to us that it is impossible to prevent this march,” Stern wrote, “one request we do have is that the flags not be flown on King George Street on the section by the Great Synagogue and the Yeshurun Synagogue which are considered to be symbols of the holiness of Jerusalem.”

LGBTQ rights have been a significant topic in Israel over the last month. Specifically, LGBTQ Israelis have been protesting a passed law that denies state-supported surrogacy to gay couples. Chief Rabbi Stern led the anti-LGBTQ opinion on this matter, saying that children born to same-sex couples would have “wretched” lives.

Afterward, 200 rabbis came out in support of Stern’s opinion with a signed letter that described gay people as “perverts.” They also wrote that Rabbi Stern “came out in defense of the children of Israel who will become wretched if they are not adopted by normative families.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also originally supported same-sex surrogacy, but flip-flopped on the issue and received backlash from the LGBTQ community.

Image via Getty

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