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Gay student wins case against Jerusalem pizzeria who refused to serve him

Gay student wins case against Jerusalem pizzeria who refused to serve him

Sammy Kanter during Jerusalem Pride

A gay student studying in Jerusalem won his lawsuit against a pizzeria who refused to serve him.

Sammy Kanter, currently studying at Hebrew Union College in Jersusalem, Israel for the year, sued a local pizzeria in October 2018. He alleged they refused to serve him due to his sexuality.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a small claims court judge found in favor of Kanter last week.

Per the ruling, the pizzeria now needs to pay nearly $5,000 (€4,396) in damages to Kanter. He and his lawyers originally sued for $9,100 (€8,000). The Israel Religious Action Center aided Kanter in his legal battle.

Kanter was in the city a day after Jerusalem Pride in August. He was wearing a t-shirt with rainbow letters spelling out ‘Cincy’. The shirt was for his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

He and some friends went into Ben Yehuda 2 pizzeria when the alleged discrimination took place.

What happened on that August day?

‘Today, for the first time in my life, I was denied service at a pizza store for being who I am (in Jerusalem),’ he wrote in a Facebook post (below).

Today, for the first time in my life, I was denied service at a pizza store for being who I am (in Jerusalem). I walked…

Posted by Sammy Kanter on Friday, 3 August 2018

According to his recollection, when he approached the counter to order, the employee said: ‘Atah homo (are you gay)?’

‘I said yes. He said “out” and pointed at the door. My jaw dropped, and he instructed my classmates and I to leave.’

He went on to describe that he had always been taught Israel was a place people could be themselves. He also said he was told Israel was a leader on LGBTI rights

Israel is considered the most progressive country in the Middle East regarding LGBTI rights, though they still don’t legally allow things like same-sex marriage.

Recent stats also revealed homophobic attacks happen every 10 hours in the country.

See also

New evidence given to Tel Aviv police in unsolved LGBTI youth club shooting

Israel’s Chief Justice Hayut attacks state’s ban on gay male surrogacy

Meet Hen Mazzig: the gay Israeli activist challenging bigotry from the Left and Right