'Individuals must maintain freedom of conscience'

Honenu legal organization representing printing house after its owners sued on grounds of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Tags: Honenu gay
Yoel Domb ,

Menashe Yado
Menashe Yado

A civil suit was filed at the Beersheva Magistrates Court against a Beersheva printing press which refused to print materials relating to the gay community in Ben Gurion University. The students are suing the press for 100,000 NIS in damages claiming that they are being discriminated against due to their sexual inclination.

A few months ago the printing press was sent a request for a price quote for printing advertising materials for the gay fraternity. The printer responded by mail, warning the gays not to send any abominable materials. "We don't deal with abominable materials. We are Jews," said the mail. After this mail there was no further contact between the sides until the lawyer representing the gays sent the suit to the astonished printer.

"My workers and I are Torah observant and therefore we do not perform work which contradicts the Torah and which goes against out values and lifestyle. We see it as part of right to freedom of religion and freedom of occupation, like other civil rights in the country," said Yossi, one of the printing press owners. "I am obligated both by my religious faith and to my workers not to bring to the printing press materials which harm us and our faith. We respect every person and expect them to respect our faith and not to force on us things which contradict our beliefs."

Yossi is being assisted by the Honenu organization which offers legal assistance to people who wish to protect and preserve their rights to receive a fair judicial process. Attorney Menashe Yado said that "the private sector cannot adopt public norms which will force private people to act against their conscience, beliefs or religion. I believe and hope that the court will reject this suit."