Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lesbian couple awarded NIS 60,000 after turned away from wedding hall

Haaretz  The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court has ordered the owners of an Israeli reception hall to pay damages to a lesbian couple after refusing to host their wedding for ideological reasons. 

Following the precedent-setting ruling, the Moshav Yad Hashmona events hall must now pay the couple, Tal Ya'akovovich and Yael Biran, NIS 60,000 in damages.

The court has also ordered the owners of the reception hall to pay NIS 20,000 in legal and court fees. According to the judge, the fines are meant to teach the public a lesson about the value of equality and tolerance, in addition to compensating the same-sex couple.

The plaintiffs were married in England in 2008 in a civil ceremony, and wished to host a wedding party for their families and friends in Israel. The couple approached the reception hall in Yad Hashmona, and reached a deal with ownership to hold the event. When the reception hall owners realized that the wedding party was for a lesbian couple, they informed Ya'akovoich and Biran that the hall does not hold events for same-sex couples, and canceled their reservation. 

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