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…
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.