Equality California Calls Out National LGBTQ Task Force for Disservice to LGBT Movement

“…. conference organizers failed to defend these organizations and correct the false information and gross distortions….,” EQCA

By Melanie Nathan, January 26, 2016.

Equality California (EQCA) has posted a strong and pointed statement, calling out The National Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Task Force, for its poor handling of the debacle at Creating Change 2016, which resulted in a vicious Antisemitic onslaught of protesters, disrupting and shutting down an LGBT Jewish event held by a participating U.S.A. LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge.

Los Angeles — In response to events over the weekend at the Creating Change conference, organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force in Chicago, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:

“It is important that LGBT Jews and other Jewish allies understand that they do not stand alone in their extreme disappointment, sadness and disagreement with events this past weekend at Creating Change.  Contrary to the stated goal of creating a safe space for everyone, what took place sent a message of exclusion and disrespect to many Jewish members of our own community and to non-LGBT Jewish allies, who have been some of the staunchest advocates for LGBT equality and social justice both in the United States and around the world.

A Wider Bridge, one of two organizations at the reception shut down by some 200 protesters, is an American organization that aims to encourage pluralism in Israel and strengthen the country’s LGBT community through connections with LGBT communities in North America.  The other organization, Jerusalem Open House, is a community center that, true to its name, opens its doors to all — Jew and Arab, religious and secular. Rather than representing the Israeli government and its policies, the organizations encourage cooperation and coexistence between people with differing backgrounds and views. The attacks on fellow LGBT organizations simply because they work with Israel’s LGBT community is deeply offensive to many Jews and non-Jews alike. To read about the experience of EQCA Legislative Director Alice Kessler with A Wider Bridge, click here.

The events at Creating Change did a disservice to the broader LGBT movement. We are disappointed that after cancelling the reception and then inviting back A Wider Bridge and Jerusalem Open House, conference organizers failed to take appropriate steps to assure that the reception could occur in light of expected protests and did not ensure that conference participants could attend.  They also failed to protect the safety of and respect for participants and conference guests. The verbal and physical intimidation on conference participants who wanted to attend the Wider Bridge event was unacceptable.

We also are extremely disappointed that the conference organizers failed to defend these organizations and correct the false information and gross distortions that were used as a basis for an unfair attack on LGBT people and organizations that serve them. National and state organizations that provide leadership for the LGBT community and movement should always attempt to serve as a moral compass and stand for truth, fairness, respect, and inclusion.

In this case, the Task Force needs to do more to adhere to these values.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 1.22.51 PMThe silence of some leadership attending the Creating Change Event is deafening.   It is highly unusual for a LGBT organization to call out another, so vehemently. This is indicative, not only of the seriousness of the what occurred at Creating Change, but also the danger to our future as an effective LGBTQ movement.   Equality California and Executive Director Rick Zbur clearly understand the ramifications of what occurred and how important it is for our movement.   Not a single LGBTQ organizations and/or their leadership participating at the conference should be silent.

A Coalition to take Task Force to task is building: Contact [email protected]


READ MORE: These articles outline events leading up to this statement above:

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9 thoughts on “Equality California Calls Out National LGBTQ Task Force for Disservice to LGBT Movement

  1. It’s time for the Southern Poverty Law Center to investigate LGBT advocacy groups. The hate being inflamed from within has been out of control for years.

  2. The Southern Poverty Law Center should start investigating lgbt organizations. That’s hate coming from within is out of control.

  3. David – the LGBT groups are not hate groups. They were just cowed by the BDS folks, who have a laser-like focus on Palestinian nationalism and make each and every other civil rights struggle about the Palestinian issue.
    They are bullies and I don’t believe in pinkwashing anyway – you can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats LGBT people and women, and on both counts Israel comes out so far ahead of Palestine, it’s not even funny.

    1. “the LGBT groups are not hate groups.”

      Oh yes, they are. A hate crime has been committed against LGBT jews and The Task Force did nothing to prevent what happened except to apologize to for caving and allowing A Wider Bridge to hold their event.

      1. yes there seem to be Hate Groups emerging in our LGBT community – In South Africa- where they have a full equality Constitution – this event would have led to arrests and action by the Equality Courts. If you look at the definition of hate groups by SPLC – I think you will see that the proponent groups of the protest who spoke out in the WCT article could be defined as “hate groups” – the definition involves:

        A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a hate group’s “primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.”[1] Scholars find it difficult to define the term hate group and “whether a particular group is to be classified as a hate group is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.”[2]

        In the US, two private organizations that monitor intolerance and hate groups are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)[3] and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[4] They maintain lists of what they deem to be hate groups, supremacist groups and anti-Semitic, anti-government or extremist groups that have committed hate crimes. The SPLC’s definition of a “hate group” includes any group with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people – particularly when the characteristics being maligned are immutable.[5] However, at least for the SPLC, inclusion of a group in the list “does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”[6] According to the SPLC, from 2000 to 2008, hate group activity saw a 50 percent increase in the US, with a total of 926 active groups.[7]

  4. Pingback: Equality California Calls Out National LGBTQ Task Force for Disservice to LGBT Movement

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