Court rules in favor of same-sex couple

Sept. 12, 2012 at 8:05 AM

JERUSALEM, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Owners of an Israeli events hall must pay $15,000 for refusing to host a lesbian couple's wedding reception on ideological grounds, a Jerusalem court has ruled.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's court said in addition to paying damages to the couple, the Moshav Yad Hashmona events hall must also cover their legal fees and court costs, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

Tal Ya'akovovich and Yael Biran were married in a civil ceremony in England in 2008 but wanted to host a wedding party for their family and friends in Israel, their attorney said.

They reached a deal to hold the event at Yad Hashmona but the owners reneged when they realized the party was for a same-sex couple.

The owners of the reception hall belong to a sect of messianic Jews who believe that homosexuality is an "abomination," court records indicated.

The court ruled that a wedding reception hall is not a religious institution and must grant equal service to the public.

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