Court fines shop which refused to print posters for LGBTQ group

Steve Johnson

Ironically, the shop was called Rainbow Colour.

The Beersheba Magistrate’s Court, in Israel, has fined a shop, called Rainbow Colour, and ordered it to pay legal fees after it refused to print posters for an LGBTQ club at the Ben Gurion University.

Rainbow Colour has been fined 50,000 NIS, which is roughly the equivalent to £11,480.

A lawsuit was filed by the Aguda Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, after Rainbow Colour rejected the posters, saying: “We do not deal with abomination materials. We are Jews!”

The Times of Israel reports that Aguda argued that Rainbow Colour had violated the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products, Services and Entry into Places of Entertainment and Public Places Law Act. This law, which was passed in 2000, banned discrimination within business.

However, Rainbow Colour argued that the LGBTQ group at the University was in violation of religious law, so they were within their rights to refuse service.

In her ruling, Judge Orit Lipshitz, wrote: “The court does not seek to enter into the consciousness of service providers… when it comes to their subjective opinions with regard to others.

“The legislature also does not seek to interfere with the freedom of religion and worship reserved for them as human beings. When their beliefs conflict with a necessity of providing service to all in a public space, the last value holds superior.”

Flags at Jerusalem Pride in 2008 via Flickr

The ruling was praised by the CEO of Aguda, Ohad Hizki, who said: “It is unacceptable for a business that provides a public service to decide to discriminate against an entire population of Israeli society simply because of its sexual orientation or gender identity.”

He added: “To this day, thousands of companies and community members suffer discrimination, hatred and violence just because of who they are.

“We applaud this clear and just ruling that prohibits unfair discrimination and [will] continue to fight for anyone and everyone to receive full equality of rights.”

Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court made another pro-LGBTQ move, ruling in favour of allowing surrogacy for same-sex couples. A five judge panel was led by Chief Justice Esther Hayut and included justices Hanan Melcer, Neal Hendel, Yitzhak Amit and Uzi Fogelman.

In a statement, the court said the laws “disproportionately harm the right to equality and the right of parenthood of these groups and are illegal.” They then gave the Israeli government a one-year deadline to make the legal changes.

They explained the reason for the one-year deadline, instead of making it immediately legal was due to “the complexity of the legal arrangements dealing with reproduction and fertility, and the fact that the existing arrangement is intended to help individuals who are not able to have children.”



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