Photo: AP

'Gays encourage prostitution'

Manager of major Tel Aviv clinic says gay community legitimizing, to an extent, existence of prostitution; gay activists slam 'miserable' remark

"The gay community is legitimizing prostitution" – This startling statement was made Thursday by Yael Gur, a social worker who has been running the Levinsky Clinic in Tel Aviv for the past decade.


Gur was invited to speak before the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee following the controversy surrounding several statements made by Knesset members in regards to the gay community.


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Just last week MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) said that "homosexuals are miserable… Eventually they commit suicide at the age of 40"; while MK Uri Ariel (National Union) said that gays should be excluded from military service, since "They'll only get in the army's way."


Both were widely panned for their comments.


Gur, who was asked by the committee to elaborate about the statistics of male prostitution in Israel, said that the committee should invite members of the gay community to participate in its hearing.


"It's important to remember who the patrons of male prostitution are, regardless if they are adults or minors. Men are the clientele – not women, so I think the heads of the community should be here."


When MK Ilan Ghilon (Meretz) asked her to clarify, Gur said that in her opinion, "The gay and lesbian community is, to an extent, legitimizing the existence of prostitution."


'Comment highly inappropriate'

Ghilon responded by saying that "This committee doesn’t differentiate between communities, we're here to face this issue head on."


Gay rights activist Itay Pinkas criticized Gur's remark: "This was a highly inappropriate thing to say, beyond the fact that it has no basis in reality.


"Holding the heads of the community responsible for someone making a living through the oldest profession in the world is absurd. I'm sorry to hear someone who has gained the full cooperation of the gay community saying such an unfortunate thing."


Pinkas added that "Blaming an entire community for encouraging male prostitution is like blaming all straight men for legitimizing women's prostitution."


The Levinsky Clinic operated by proxy of the Tel Aviv District Department of Public Health. The Health Ministry offered no comment at this time.



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פרסום ראשון: 07.05.12, 23:24
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