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U.S. Green Party Media Team | 01.08.2002 05:33

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


For immediate release:
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate,


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

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

"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

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

"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."


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

Lavender Green Caucus

Index of Green Party candidates in 2002

Platform of the Green Party of the United States

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