Israeli Supreme Court says Jerusalem must fund gay community center

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the Jerusalem city government to provide more than $120,000 in funding for a prominent gay community center.

Thursday's ruling was the latest sign that a hostile climate toward Jerusalem's gay community may be abating.

Since 2002, the city had rejected funding appeals from the Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which organizes an annual Pride Parade.

The court said the city must help fund the center because it serves a significant chunk of the city's population. The city said it would not appeal the decision.

Open House director Yonatan Gher says gay residents continue to experience harassment individually, but mass demonstrations by conservative groups such as ultra-Orthodox Jews have subsided. In 2005, an ultra-Orthodox protester stabbed three marchers at the Pride Parade.

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