Commenting on LGBT people, Abutbul stated that “We have none of those things here. Thank God, this city is holy and pure.”
The mayor is a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, the fifth largest party in Israel. Shas is currently in opposition, but has formed part of most Israeli coalition governments since 1984.
Shas opposes all public expressions of homosexuality, including Pride parades, especially in Jerusalem. In 2008 a Shas member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, accused LGBT people of “carrying out the self-destruction of Israeli society and the Jewish people” and said that LGBT people were a plague as “toxic as bird flu”.