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.