Many social movements fall apart because of infighting and petty bickering. The liberal American LGBTQ community is certainly not free from silly quarrels, and many insiders have long predicted that, post-marriage-equality, the community would splinter into squabbling factions. But a half-year out from Obergefell, a legitimately troubling problem has begun to tear at the seams of the LGBTQ movement. That problem is anti-Semitism.
You might not expect a group of people defined, in part, by their minority status and history of oppression to direct irrational ire toward Jews. But there is no other way to describe the sad story of this year’s Creating Change conference, an annual gathering sponsored by the National LGBTQ Task Force. Creating Change brings together dozens of LGBTQ groups, from fringe to mainstream, at one bustling summit to compare notes and debate strategy. This year, the conference was scheduled to include a presentation by A Wider Bridge, a group that connects LGBTQ Jews in America with the Israeli LGBTQ community, featuring speakers from the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an LGBTQ community center. Then, shortly before the conference began, the Task Force abruptly canceled the reception. It had bowed to pressure from groups like the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which demanded that the conference’s organizers “reject Zionism” and “the forces of oppression and occupation” by kicking out A Wider Bridge.