May 23, 2011

Press Release: Center denying space to queer political groups

Call to Show Solidarity as Group Tries to Meet at Center May 26, 6:30 PM

Below is a joint statement from Queers for an Open LGBT Center and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid protesting the LGBT Community Center’s ongoing attempts to filter and censor queer political organizing. The Center staff has most recently refused to grant meeting space to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Pride-season organizing or even make a decision about the group’s request in a timely fashion.

In February, the Center, at the behest of a major donor, expelled the Siege Busters Working Group, a group opposing the Israeli siege of Palestinians in Gaza, with a strong queer membership, for being too “controversial” and not queer-specific. No other group has ever been expelled based on these criteria. The Center has so far failed to make even the minimal changes it promised in response to widespread criticism of its censorship of Siegebusters.

Now the Center is again refusing meeting space, this time to Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, which is attempting to organize contingents in upcoming Pride marches.  The Center has failed to respond to the request for meeting space from the group, dragging out the process of approving meeting space for almost two weeks longer that the standard response time of two to three days.

In the absence of a response from the Center, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is gathering at the Center at 208 W. 13th St. on Thursday, May 26th at 6:30 PM to make plans for Pride. Queers for an Open LGBT Center will also be there in solidarity with the right of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid to meet and is calling on all to come out in support of their request for meeting space at our Community Center.

For more background, please read the statement to the community here.

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