The city of Tel Aviv has launched an advertising brochure aimed at drawing in gay tourists from across Europe - and the campaign is sure to raise a storm, reports www.mynet.co.il. In a joint venture with local gay rights organizations, the city has begun distributing an English-language map across Europe in recent weeks that spotlights 50 Tel Aviv businesses that cater specifically for gays, including at least four that provide sexual services.
According to the report, the city distributed a similar map focusing on sex businesses a decade ago, and a public storm erupted. In addition to the map, the brochure also features nightclubs, pubs and restaurants. The report said that some of the largest advertisements were for shops selling sex toys and for "sauna bars" that offer private, darkened rooms and "pleasurable massages" to patrons. It said that while the advertisements featured numerous photographs of men, they seemed to ignore the lesbian sector entirely.
A municipal spokesman responded that as far as the city knew, none of the businesses was in breach of the law and there was nothing to stop them from advertising in the brochure.
Meanwhile, www.mynet.co.il reports that Tel Aviv is planning dozens of events for gays next month as part of the city's 100th birthday celebrations. The report said that June had been designated as "Gay Pride Month," with the traditional gay parade to take place on June 12. The month will see numerous parties and events in streets, pubs and nightclubs for gays, and will include an art exhibition, movie screenings, theatrical performances and seminars. There will even be special gay events for the elderly and for Russian immigrants. The month will conclude with the fourth international gay film festival, to be held at the Cinematheque.
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