October 30, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
U.S. LGBT leaders travel to Israel

Kevin Naff, gay news, Washington Blade

Washington Blade Editor, Kevin Naff. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Washington Blade Editor Kevin Naff is among the U.S. LGBT leaders who are in Israel this week to meet with their Israeli counterparts.

The American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange organized the trip that the group described in a press release as its first-ever “seminar focused on the LGBT community.”

Naff and the eight other trip participants — Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo, Tamika Butler of Young Initiatives, gay Harrisburg (Pa.) Treasurer John Campbell, Gill Action Fund Executive Director Kirk Fordham, Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin, Lavender Effect Executive Director Andy Sacher, Williams Institute Executive Director Brad Sears and Point Foundation CEO Jorge Valencia — on Tuesday met with Israeli LGBT rights advocates and members of the Knesset, the country’s parliament, in Tel Aviv.

The group on Wednesday met with Palestinian officials in Ramallah on the West Bank.

The trip is scheduled to conclude this weekend in Jerusalem.

“We are honored to bring this high-powered delegation of LGBT American leaders in our first such seminar in Israel,” Project Interchange Executive Director Sam Witkin said. “Israel’s progressive attitude towards LGBT rights offers fertile ground for building bridges, sharing best practices and nurturing solidarity between the LGBT communities in both countries.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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