Another Pinkwashing Controversy

In the spring of 2013, the Center for Gay & Lesbian Studies at City University of New York plans to stage a conference titled “Homonationalism and Pinkwashing.” And that’s got some folks very upset.

“This conference is not an academic exercise designed to promote and encourage different points of view on LGBT issues; it is simply a venue to criticize Israel for the most absurd reasons,” Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League told The Algemeiner. ”The academic community should find the conference abhorrent, because it disregards the key aspects faced by the LGBT community which is global repression in many other countries.” “The conference smacks of an effort to discredit Israel,” Foxman said. conference, scheduled for April of 2013, will examine what its planners claim is a concerted effort by Israel to market its positive relationship with the gay community to detract from the “oppression of Palestinians”.

The Graduate Center at CUNY defended its hosting of the conference saying it is supportive of providing a platform for students to discuss issues from different perspectives. “As a diverse and intellectually robust institution, the Graduate Center embraces the academic tradition of providing a forum for discussion across the spectrum of ideas and points of view,” Jane Trombley, Executive Director for Communications at CUNY’s Graduate Center said in an email to The Algemeiner. “With the proposed conference sponsored by The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) still 8-9 months out, it is too early to comment on any specifics concerning the event.”

The conference is also opposed by the group HE’BRO, which promotes gay Jewish social events around New York City.