Press

Leaders of Task Force and Congregation Beth Simchat Torah arrested during 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' protest at Times Square

Date: 
March 15, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Protested Gen. Peter Pace’s homophobic comments and discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy


See the video of the demonstration and arrest

 

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman block traffic at Times Square in protest of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, leader of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, and Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, blocked traffic and were arrested next to the Times Square Armed Forces Recruiting Station.
Credit: Inga Sarda-Sorensen
If you would like a high-resolution version of this photo, please e-mail isorensen@theTaskForce.org.


Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, leader of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, and Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, clasp a rainbow banner as they walk to block Broadway in protest of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, leader of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, and Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, clasp a rainbow banner as they walk onto Broadway to stop traffic during the March 15 protest.
Credit: Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Download a high-resolution version.

WASHINGTON, March 15 — Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, leader of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, were arrested outside the Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square this afternoon in protest of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and Gen. Peter Pace’s recent comments that homosexuality is “immoral.”

The arrests were part of a noontime demonstration in which protestors demanded that Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, be fired. Members of ACT UP, Queer Justice League and others held an enormous rainbow flag that stretched around the crowd, while additional demonstrators spoke in front of an enormous English- and Arabic-language banner that said “We Will Not Be Silent.”

Foreman, Kleinbaum and longtime movement leader Larry Kramer repeatedly knocked on the door of the recruiting station; the doors remained closed. Next, Foreman and Kleinbaum stretched the rainbow banner across Broadway, in the heart of Times Square, fully blocking traffic. When police confiscated the banner, Foreman and Kleinbaum sat in the street and were promptly arrested.

(For more information, contact Roberta Sklar at 917.704.6358.)

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The equation is simple: General Pace has got to apologize or resign. No more, no less. Politicians and those on the campaign trail have got to stop equivocating over the validity of his remarks. They should simply call him out for what he is — a dangerous bigot.”


Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman embrace before blocking traffic at Times Square in protest of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman embrace before stopping traffic and getting arrested. Credit: Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Download a high-resolution version.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.