By Eliana Rudee, Originally published in the New York Observer
When pro-LGBTQ speakers are slated to address the world at a conference on LGBTQ rights and acceptance, one might expect to face some protests. After all, countless right-wing pundits have tried to block pro-LGBTQ events before. But in Seattle, some of the LGBTQ community members themselves plan to block their mayor’s trip to the conference.
Why, you ask? Because of the conference’s location: Israel.
On June 10, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is planning to travel to Israel for the 40 Years of Pride Conference in Tel Aviv. But in the intersection between pro-LGBTQ and anti-Israel activists, Murray finds he is facing some unexpected criticism.
One such critic is Dean Spade, a professor at Seattle University who is part of the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Seattle, which has written letters to Mr. Murray asking him to cancel his trip. The paradox of this group’s protest is amusing, to say the least. He calls the trip pro-Israel propaganda, similar to how anti-LGBTQ activists call it pro-gay propaganda.