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Monday, May 18, 2009
Gay tourism leaflet promotes sex shops in Tel Aviv
A Tel Aviv city map that was distributed throughout Europe in recent weeks in a bid to promote gay tourism to the city contains lewd adverts for sex shops and sauna bars.
The map was jointly commissioned by the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association, the Tel Aviv Municipality and the municipal center for the gay community.
The map, which is written mostly in English, advertises 50 businesses that cater to the gay community, including gay-oriented nightclubs, Israeli travel agencies that specialize in "gay tourism", pubs and restaurants.
At least four of the businesses are part of the sex industry.
Gay tourism leaflet
One of the largest ads is for the Paradise sauna bar on Allenby Street, which offers visitors a dark room, private booths and "relaxing massages."
Another ad promotes Sauna City on Hahashmonaim Street, which offers similar services. The ads also contain provocative images of muscular, half-naked men.
Additionally, the map contains two ads for sex shop.
The leaflet's front cover features a photo taken during the local Gay Pride Parade, while the back cover shows four men playing on the beach. Photos of lesbian women are nowhere to be found in the publication, except for in advertisements.
The Tel Aviv Municipality said in response: "To the best of our knowledge these businesses are not illegal, and therefore should not be prevent from advertising."