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Lavender Green Caucus Releases a Statement Opposing War on Iraq

by Starlene Rankin Thursday, Jan. 09, 2003 at 9:14 PM

The caucus, representing lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and intersex Greens, issues a sharp critique of U.S. military policies



For immediate release:

Tuesday, January 7, 2003


Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,

Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate

to the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party,


Brandon Lacy Campos, Lavender Green Caucus,




The caucus, representing lesbian, gay, bi, trans,

and intersex Greens, issues a sharp critique of

U.S. military policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Lavender Green Caucus of

the Green Party of the United States recently

adopted and released a strongly worded position

statement opposing President Bush's planned

invasion of Iraq. The caucus, representing

lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and

intersex people in the Green Party, stressed the

special dangers that the war would pose to human

rights in general and the hypocrisy of the

Defense Department's discriminatory 'don't ask,

don't tell' policy.

"In November, the U.S. Army fired nine linguists,

including six trained in Arabic, for being gay --

at a time when translators might be most valuable

in everything from negotiation to intelligence,"

said Brandon Lacy Campos, a Minnesota Green and

caucus member. "But quite often, the military

suspends its discharge of gay personnel during

wartime. In other words, queer soldiers are

prohibited from peacetime careers, but may serve

as cannon fodder during a war."

According to Coit Blacker and Lawrence J. Korb in

The New York Times on January 13, 1999, "If

homosexuals undermined unit cohesion [as

defenders of the military bias have charged],

then discharges of gay soldiers should increase

in wartime, when cohesion is most important.

Precisely the opposite is true.... During the

Persian Gulf war the Pentagon issued a

'stop-loss' order preventing discharges on the

basis of gay orientation until after the fighting

was over."


"Make no mistake -- American soldiers, gay and

straight alike, will serve as cannon fodder in

George W. Bush's bid to topple Saddam Hussein and

gain control over Iraqi oil reserves," added Lacy

Campos, who drafted the statement. "The

Administration's policies are not only

hypocritical and stupid (in the case of the fired

Army linguists), but show complete disregard for

human lives and human rights."

The Lavender Green Caucus is the first caucus in

the Green Party to have achieved official status

within the national party. The caucus holds a

voting seat on the party's central Coordinating

Committee, on which all affiliated state Green

Parties are represented. Other caucuses,

representing African Americans, Latinos, and

women in the party, are also forming. Green

caucuses offer policy and platform

recommendations to the national, state, and local

parties and to Green candidates, and help bring

more people and greater diversity into the Green

Party. The Lavender Caucus includes Greens from

at least 28 states and the District of Columbia,

as well as some living abroad.

"The military's current policies are truly

bipartisan," said Starlene Rankin, a caucus

member and California-based Green. "Clinton

approved 'don't ask, don't tell,' which led to a

dramatic rise in antigay witchhunts, and he also

conducted a low-intensity war on Iraq, through

the bombing campaigns and the sanctions that

killed and maimed Iraqi civilians. Bush has

taken all of these destructive policies to the

next level, with the support of many Democrats in


United States Green Party Lavender Caucus'

Statement of Opposition to War with Iraq

December 29, 2002

The Lavender Caucus of the United States Green

Party stands united in opposition to military

aggression and war against Iraq and her people,

for the following reasons:

* The people of Iraq have a right to

self-determination guaranteed by historical

precedent and international law.

* President George W. Bush has failed to

demonstrate a clear and present danger to the

United States of America from Iraq.

* Domestic and international opinion is strongly

opposed to military action against the state of


* A pre-emptive attack against Iraq would be in

violation of international law and of United

States historical precedent, and the United

States' self-declared commitment to the

democratic process.

* A war with Iraq will further aggravate the

Middle East laying the grounds for future war and


* The United States military, with the sanction

of the President of the United States, continues

to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender

individuals the right to serve openly in the

military during times of peace.

* During times of war the United States military

has suspended discharges based on sexual and

gender orientation thereby allowing gay, lesbian,

bisexual, and transgender individuals to die for

the United States.

* Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender United

States citizens continue to be victims of

violence and discrimination within the United

States military.

* Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender

individuals continue to fight for basic civil

rights in the United States.

* We can cannot support institutions that

actively participate in the denial of civil

rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and

transgender United States citizens.

* We view ourselves in solidarity with the people

of Iraq and with their right to


* We view ourselves in solidarity with lesbian,

gay, bisexual, and transgender Iraqis struggling

for justice.

As the Lavender Caucus, we call upon the people

of the United States to stand together in a

united front against the war machine of the

Bush-Cheney Administration.

We urge the United Nations, as the sole

international body mandated to protect the legal

and human rights of the several nations of this

world community, to resolve to reaffirm the

integrity, sovereignty, and the right to

self-determination of Iraq and her people.

We call on the United Nations and the world

community to oppose and stand strong against

United States unilateralism.

We call on Congress and the President to focus

resources and attention to the deepening domestic


The United States stands at a unique moment in

history, and we call on the United States, as the

world's sole superpower, to stand as a symbol of

peace, justice, and democracy.

** This statement reflects the opinion of the

Lavender Green Caucus of the United States Green

Party and not necessarily the opinion of the

national Green Party.

** For more information, contact:

Starlene Rankin: 916-215-1302,


Brandon Lacy: 612-729-2238,


The Green Party of the United States

National office: 1314 18th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036

202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

Lavender Green Caucus

Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the


Green Party of the United States statement in

opposition to U.S. plans to invade Iraq

- END -

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