Israel: New LGBT political party to be founded

The founding meeting of a new party solely dedicated to serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community will be held Tuesday in Tel Aviv.

The party is being founded by Imri Kalmann, who is the chief executive officer of a marketing company and is a former chairman of the Aguda, the Israeli LGBT Task Force. Kalmann was active in Meretz and even briefly ran for a position as its leader, but said he realized that the only way to truly help the LGBT community was to form a new party.

“We have had gay caucuses and lobbying in the Knesset, but they have not been proven effective,” Kalmann said. “We have also had gay MKs in Meretz, the Zionist Union, and Likud, but that was not effective either, because their obligations are to their party more than to our community. We need a party that puts its focus on creating change and advancing our interests in Israeli politics.”

Kalmann complained that while many parties send MKs to gay pride rallies and fly the colorful flag of the LGBT community, it is much more rare for those parties to hire gay staff members. He himself applied for a job in Meretz and did not receive it.

“A lot of parties like saying they promote gay rights, but we can better run our struggles by ourselves,” he said. “Straight people can’t really represent us. It’s time to have our own representatives. We are an organized community, and the way we accomplished so much so far has been to work for ourselves.” Read more via Jerusalem Post