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Lesbian Comic's Gig Back on After Rabbis Cancel Over Her Sexuality


Leah Forster, a lesbian comic, fourght back against discrimination and her New Year's Eve show will go on at original Brooklyn venue after a Kosher agency threatened to shut it down. 

A kosher certifying agency now admits its rabbis threatened a Brooklyn eatery for booking lesbian comic Leah Forster for a New Year's Eve show. But the religious organization reversed course and now advises against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After Brooklyn's Garden of Eat-In booked Forster for a New Year's Eve show, Vaad Harabanim of Flatbush threatened to pull the restaurant's kosher certification for featuring a lesbian performer. The news broke in the New York Daily News after Forster filed a complaint with the city's Commission on Human Rights.

The initial report relied on accounts from the restaurant and Forster, but Vaad Harabanim initially denied making any threats in a media statement earlier this week.

Then the kosher certification group told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the original statement went out in error. Now, the group says one of the supervisors at the Flatbhsuh Vaad Harabanim did "caution" against booking Forster.

"A single rabbinical kashrus supervisor of the Vaad Harabanim of Flatbush cautioned a supervised restaurant not to host an event by a person whom the supervisor believed epitomizes immorality and is antithetical to our religious tradition," the organization said in a statement to JTA.

But the agency also now says that action should not have taken place.

"Upon further reviews and consultations with our attorneys, we publicly call upon all of our supervised restaurants, including the one in question, not to discriminate in any way against people based on sexual orientation."

Forster said after the troubles arose at the original venue, she looked to move the show to Orchidea in Borough Park, but that restaurant too got pressure from the kosher agency and could not host the show.

But with the threat of legal action, the kosher agency has decided that the show will go on at the original venue. The comic said on Facebook that she was not angry with the venues, and she stressed that most Jewish fans have been supportive.

"My private life was never something I discussed on social media and what hurt me was that despite my efforts to do my best to be respectful...I was viciously sabotaged," she wrote.

"BUT that is a select few ...majority of the Jewish Peeps have been nothing but genuine, kind, and supportive."

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