US LGBTQ group backtracks, will hold event with Israeli leaders

The National LGBTQ Task Force, a US umbrella organization, announced Tuesday it was reversing an earlier decision to cancel an event hosted by A Wider Bridge, an NGO that seeks to build ties between the US and Israeli gay communities.


“Having taken in a range of information and seeing what has happened over the last couple of days, I have decided to reverse our decision to cancel the ‘Beyond the Bridge’ reception hosted by A Wider Bridge with guest speakers from the Jerusalem Open House,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, in a statement Tuesday.


“It is our belief that when faced with choices, we should move towards our core value of inclusion and opportunities for constructive dialogue and canceling the reception was a mistake.”


The reception was originally scheduled for this Friday as part of the task force’s “Creating Change” conference in Chicago this week.


But on Sunday, National LGBTQ Task Force deputy executive director Russell Roybal issued a statement saying: “We canceled the event as we were concerned about the possibility of this reception becoming intensely divisive rather than a casual and fun social event.”


Activists critical of Israel had been pressuring the organizers of the conference to cancel the event.


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