A small claims court in Tel Aviv ordered the Dan bus company and one of its drivers to compensate a gay couple with NIS 16,000 (roughly $4,000) over homophobic remarks that were made during a bus ride.
The incident occurred last September, shortly after the couple boarded a bus near Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center. According to the complainants, the bus driver began swearing at them when they pointed out that he was driving unsafely. The driver leveled a colorful array of insults at the two men, whom he dubbed "pillow-biters." He also claimed that "homosexuality is a disease."
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Part of the driver's outburst was caught on tape and was used as evidence in court.
The couple sued the bus company and the driver for NIS 32,000 ($8,000) in damages, charging the defendants with sexual harassment, verbal assault and libel.
The registrar ruled in favor of the plaintiff; he asserted that the "hurtful" remarks "weren't just a slip of the tongue.”
The court ordered the guilty party to pay each of the complainants NIS 8,000 ($2,000). The couple said they weren't going to appeal, even though the sum was lower than the one they initially demanded.
The Dan company's management said in response that the incident was an isolated one, adding that it is doing its best to prevent the recurrence of such blunders in the future.
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