Gay Center Now Bans All Talk on Israel/Palestine

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Reversing field once again, the LGBT Center has now banned all discussion of the explosive issue of Israel and Palestine on its premises.

The most recent flip-flop (a reversal of its previous reversal) came a week after a new group called Queers Against Israeli Apartheid was allowed to meet at the Center to discuss plans to march in various Gay Pride parades this month. Predictably, gay pornographer and ardent Zionist Michael Lucas was not pleased, telling Gay City News that "this group has had their first and last meeting in the Center. If someone fucks with Israel, I fuck them back. And I usually win." He was right.

Within a week, he got the center to once again eat its words and announce a "moratorium" on "renting space to groups that organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

In renting space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, the center said that it did "not have a position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, nor does it endorse the viewpoints of this group or any others that use rooms here," and that the center "provides space for a variety of LGBT voices in our community to engage in conversations on a range of topics." As for the controversial Israeli/Palestinian topic, the center added that "this is a complex issue, and there is a tremendous diversity of viewpoints within the LGBT community."

This is not particularly shocking, but it is the most blatantly embarrassing example of how both the center's board and its executive director, Glennda Testone, have been willing to placate Lucas and publicly humiliate themselves. It also shows how thoroughly they are willing to turn their backs on the center's 28-year history as a locale of controversial free speech in order to become just another censored venue catering to influential donors.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com / @steven_thrasher



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Donna
Donna

Here in America, we believe in the rights of others to have positions in opposition to our own.  It's called freedom of conscience. Kind of goes along with the "right to pursue happiness" that all us queers chase after. It isn't like the Center endorsed the opposing views, Endorsing exclusion in a LGBT community center is shameful. Seems to me it would be better to get rid of Lucas.

Patrick Soddof Willis
Patrick Soddof Willis

You New York moffies have no idea! Our moffies would kick yo' asses from here to next Friday! We grow 'em with BALLS here in South Africa... bunch of pussies.

CornetMustich
CornetMustich

Outrageous. And shameful.I spent alot of time at the Center when I lived on the UWS.It's time to say enough with the treatment by Israeli Jews of non-Jews in Israel - Palestine.'And enough with the blockade of the Gaza Ghetto by the people of the "Holocaust."Cheers, Joe Mustich,  Washington, CT USA.

Eg
Eg

 Gays and lesbians get bitchslapped by Israel just like the President of the United States does.

jfc
jfc

So I guess the Israel/Palestine issue can now be neatly placed in the "Don't ask don't tell" cabinet and locked away for nobody to see?

Does this mean that Pro-Israel gatherings are also banned or is it just any gatherings that show support for Palestine?

Isn't it shameful that this organization would cater to such a double standard?

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