CHICAGO (CBS) — A Jewish woman said she was asked to leave the Chicago Dyke March for displaying a rainbow flag with a Jewish Star of David on it.
Jewish people celebrating Saturday’s march in Chicago were reportedly told not to display Star of David flags, as others found them “offensive.”
The flag was banned from the Dyke March, which is an annual celebration in the city. Several people carrying a flag with a Jewish Star on it were removed from the march because, according to a member of the Dyke March collective, their presence “made people feel unsafe,” Windy City Times reports.
Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Dyke March released a statement on Twitter addressing why they asked some to leave. It said, in part:
“The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere,” the statement said. “This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke Mark Collective members.”
CBS 2 reached out to a woman carrying one of the flags that set off the controversy. “They asked me to leave even before they asked if I was a Zionist,” Laurel Grauer said.
A Wider Bridge, an LGBTQ organization building support for Israel and its LGBTQ community, released a statement in response to Dkye March Chicago’s, which reads, in part:
“At A Wider Bridge, we believe in the intrinsic value of being in conversation, even in cases of disagreement; of sharing, empathy, building relationships, and finding common ground. Automatically dismissing Jews and any LGBTQ person or ally who cares about Israel out of hand only builds walls between members of our diverse community.”
People quickly began swarming Dyke March Chicago’s Facebook page to weigh in and share their experiences.
One reviewer posted, “Removing a single nationality from the pride March is a rejection of inclusivity, the very ideals we fight for as a group. Be better than this.”
Another writes, “Chicago Dyke March creates the most affirming spaces for all identities and is dedicated to ending oppression collaboratively and collectively and not just when it’s convenient.”
Chicago’s Dyke March is attended by roughly 1,500 individuals.