The GLBT Union is suing the newspaper for breaking a contract and violating the law forbidding discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, and is seeking a financial restitution of NIS 60,000 (about $16,500) and the right to publish the ad.
Union officials claim that that they ordered the ad, paid for it, received a receipt and even signed a contract with the newspaper stating the ad will be published.
"Representatives of the newspaper said they would conduct an additional verification because of the sensitivity of the issue, and eventually announced that the ad will be published," the statement of claim read. "But the newspaper did not approve the advertisement, thus breaking the contract."
GLBT Union members protest homophobia (Photo: George Ginsberg)
'Ad would hurt readers' feelings'
The ad publicizes a support hotline that religious gay and lesbian teens can turn to in order to speak to experts on gender identity and sexual orientation.
"There is no way to explain the behavior of the newspaper, other than obvious discrimination against the gay community, discrimination that is forbidden in the private sector, let alone in journalism and the media," the claim read.
The union notes that 27% of the calls received by the hotline come from teens who describe themselves as haredi or traditional, most of whom are in emotional distress and have suicidal tendencies relating to religion and sexual orientation. Most of the teens are worried about being harassed and being socially excommunicated.
"The reason that the ad wasn't published is the concern that it would hurt the readers' feelings, since this newspaper has a unique style that targets a specific audience," a representative of Makor Rishon responded. "Therefore, the newspaper is careful about keeping the content in line with its unique style."
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