Pro-Palestine Protestors Disrupted Jill Biden’s Keynote Speech at an Annual HRC Dinner

According to the advocacy group the American Friends Service Committee, Northrop Grumman, which is the sixth largest weapons manufacturer in the world, has supplied the Israeli military with missile delivery systems and laser weapon delivery systems, as well as warships. On December 15, the Department of Defense published a notice that Northrop Grumman had received an $8.9 million contract for providing weaponry to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

LGBTQ+ people have been among the most outspoken advocates for a ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. On March 15, Reneé Rapp called for an “immediate” and “permanent” ceasefire in Palestine during her speech at the GLAAD Media Awards. Other queer and trans celebrities, such as Indya Moore, Cynthia Nixon, Sara Ramirez, and others, have also been using their platforms to call for a permanent ceasefire, and to pressure LGBTQ+ organizations to do the same.

In late December, the advocacy group Queers for Liberation launched a Change.org petition calling on major American LGBTQ+ organizations such as GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, and others to “use their influence to end the ongoing violence” in Palestine. The petition has since gathered more than 28,000 signatures. Accordingly, the New York chapter of the historic AIDS advocacy group ACT UP released a statement in January calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and endorsing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

Them reached out to HRC for a statement but the organization declined to comment on the record. However, when HRC was recently asked by nonprofit news outlet the The 19th how the organization is responding to protests, a spokesperson reportedly pointed to a page of statements on the HRC website.

“We have and will continue to speak out against this violence, the devastating humanitarian crisis, Islamophobia and antisemitism, and increasing hate crimes here in the U.S. over the past several months with statements that have lived across our social media channels, on our website, in emails to our members and supporters, in conversations, and at our gatherings,” the statement reads.

The statements did not explicitly reference its link to Northrop Grumman, but it did acknowledge the “questions regarding corporate support for our work.”

“The Human Rights Campaign receives funding from a wide range of grants, individuals, and organizations. We want to be clear: our funding never changes our mission,” the organization wrote.

Since October 7, Israel’s military campaign in Palestine has killed at least 32,142 Palestinians and wounded at least 74,412, according to Al Jazeera. Additionally, Vox reported today that every resident of Gaza is at risk of “crisis levels” of food insecurity, with half at risk of famine, due to Israel’s restrictions on aid. On Monday morning, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, CNN reported. The U.S. had previously vetoed similar resolutions but this time abstained from voting. In addition to demanding an immediate ceasefire, the resolution calls for the immediate release of all hostages.

This story has been updated to include HRC’s response.

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