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News ::
GAY CAUCUS EXPANDS IN THE GREEN PARTY; OTHER CAUCUSES ORGANIZE
01 Aug 2002
Modified: 05 Aug 2002
Lavender Green Caucus, winning accreditation in
the Green Party, challenges gay support for
Democrats
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release:
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,
nallen (at) acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
scottmclarty (at) yahoo.com
Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate,
773-752-2801, starlene (at) greens.org


GAY CAUCUS EXPANDS IN THE GREEN PARTY; OTHER
CAUCUSES ORGANIZE

Lavender Green Caucus, winning accreditation in
the Green Party, challenges gay support for
Democrats


WASHINGTON, DC -- The Lavender Green Caucus,
representing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgendered (GLBT) members of the Green Party,
has emerged as a national force in the Green
Party of the United States, after becoming the
first caucus to gain a voting seat on the party's
Coordinating Committee. Other caucuses,
representing African-American and Latino Greens,
are also planning to win seats on the
Coordinating Committee, the party's central
decision-making body which includes delegates
from 39 states.

"The growth of identity caucuses with voting
power within the party expands the power of
people often excluded from political decisions,
either because they represent minority
constituencies or because of outright bias," said
Badili Jones, an African-American and gay Green
activist from Georgia who was elected to the
national party's Steering Committee during the
recent 2002 Midterm Convention of the Green Party
of the United States in Philadelphia. "The
Democrats and Republicans don't allow such voting
caucuses. Lavender, African-American, and Latino
voters have a home with the Greens."

"We're delighted to be the first official caucus
of the Green Party," said Starlene Rankin of
Illinois, the Lavender Green delegate in the
party. "We intend to fully participate and we
won't be shy about bringing our issues to the
table."

"Greens demand Instant Runoff Voting and public
campaign financing -- the kind of democratic
reforms that won't just benefit third parties
like the Greens, but minority voting
constituencies of all kinds, including queers,"
Rankin explained. "Move over, Stonewall
Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans!"

Lavender Greens dispute the reputation of the
Democratic Party as the defender of civil rights,
recalling President Clinton's signature on the
antigay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and Al
Gore's declaration, during the 2000 presidential
debates, that he opposed same-sex marriage
rights.

Throughout 2000, Green presidential candidate
Ralph Nader reiterated his support for same-sex
marriage, non-discrimination protections, and
other equal rights for GLBT people. At a July 19
press conference at the recent 2002 Midterm
Convention of the Green Party of the United
States in Philadelphia, California Green
gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo included
same-sex marriage rights in his list of
priorities.

"We dare GLBT voters and organizations to compare
the Green platform with the Democrats and
Republicans," said Greg Gerritt, Green candidate
for mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. "Greens
say that, just as biological diversity is
essential to the health of the planet, acceptance
of human diversity is necessary for the social
and psychological health of society. Diversity
and feminism are key Green values. We demand
legalized civil same-sex marriage rights; safe
schools and other equal rights and protections
for GLBT parents, children, and youth; repeal of
restrictive immigration laws based on sexuality
and HIV infection; medical marijuana and needle
exchange; universal access to AIDS drugs; women's
uncompromised right and access to abortion; and
national health insurance."

Lavender Greens note numerous other Democratic
betrayals, including President Clinton's 1993
'don't ask, don't tell' policy, under which
witchhunts against gay people in the military
skyrocketed. Clinton opposed medical marijuana
and needle-exchange programs, and fired Surgeon
General Joycelyn Elders for speaking frankly
about safe sex. The Clinton Administration,
goaded by U.S. pharmaceutical lobbies, threatened
poor nations in Africa, Asia, and South America
with economic sanctions for producing low-cost
AIDS and other drugs. Clinton and Gore ended
some of the threats after protests from ACT UP
and the Global AIDS Project (with Green
participation and a challenge from Ralph Nader).

The Clinton Administration further angered many
GLBT supporters by discarding the Democrats'
pledge since 1948 to enact national health
insurance, by blaming unmarried and teenage
mothers for the nation's economic woes, and by Al
Gore's call in 2000 for limits on reproductive
freedom -- candidate Gore endorsed outlawing
late-term abortion rights (U.S. Catholic
Conference questionnaire, October, 2000).

"After nearly a decade of promise to pass
national anti-bias legislation, Democrats failed
to advance it, wasting years in which they
controlled both Congress and the White House,"
said Vivian Houghton, Green Party of Delaware
candidate for Delaware Attorney General.
"Furthermore, the current version of the Employee
Anti-Discrimination Act omits transgendered
Americans. Now we have a President who's openly
hostile to all such discussion, while Democrats
have taken every opportunity to support the
Bush-Ashcroft assaults on the basic rights
enshrined in the Constitution. GLBT Americans
are ready for a new party, one dedicated to all
our rights and liberties."


MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States
http://www.greenpartyus.org
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

Lavender Green Caucus
http://www.lavendergreens.org

Index of Green Party candidates in 2002
http://www.greens.org/elections

Platform of the Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org


- END -

See also:
http://www.lavendergreens.org
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evolution of the 2 party system
01 Aug 2002
The tradition that it's either Republicans OR Democrats is pretty much over.
Both parties can take a bow that we have an economic system on the verge of collapse at the local, state, and federal levels. But still they spend money like drunken sailors, using the same tired old solutions to get more money. And some rather clever new devious ones. All the while alienating "the average Joe" who is desperate for a party to represent them.

But Gays are in a tricky position. As much as we might not agree with the Democrats, who are we gonna run to? The elephants? The Libertarians? The Green Party? We're pretty much married to the donkeys because there's nowhere else to go. And the savvy know that if we try they'll use the same script they wrote for another cause, simply substituting the word "homosexual" for "tobacco".
then let them
05 Aug 2002
then let them! we don't HAVE to support democrats any more than anyone else does. don't think all of us lgbtq's are stuck in some position. we can be radical. we ARE. if it wasn't for lgbt assimilationists, many of us WOULD feel that there are more options.

don't underestimate the prescence of lgbtq people in all radical and revolutionary movements.