• Response by the accused to Proposal 1064

    Response to GPUS National Committee Proposal 1064

    (pdf version)

    Gender-neutral Non-Binary Older Sibling is Watching
    Gender-neutral Non-Binary
    Older Sibling is Watching

    The Green National Committee is considering a proposal from the Nevada Green Party which seeks to "hold accountable" and exclude from the national Party (regardless of the wishes of their respective state parties), five Green Party activists for their activities opposing the national Green Party's dis-accreditation of the Georgia Green Party. Georgia was originally targeted for its support of the Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights and the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act. The five are Hugh Esco (GA), Thistle Pettersen (WI), Ann Menasche (CA) (misspelled in the complaint), David Keil (MA), and Jeffrey Sutter (IN).

    We are the five Green Party activists.  The proposal accuses us of "publishing offensive and defamatory content in contravention to GPUS's core values." It also accuses us of disrupting GPUS business, damaging the Party's reputation and spreading 'false, defamatory and transphobic propaganda for the purpose of influencing National Committee delegates and other Greens' regarding the dis-accreditation proposal. None of us have been provided notice or an opportunity to defend ourselves. (If this note is posted it is the only reply we have been afforded.)  The fact that one of us had her name misspelled is emblematic of the factual and organizational incompetence of this proposal.

    As usual, no evidence is provided supporting these accusations. Indeed, none of the accusations have any merit.

    For reasonable Greens, the proposal is outrageous on its face. It positions the Green Party as centralized authoritarian party demanding total and unquestioned adherence to a gender identity ideology that denies the existence or significance of biological sex.  It deems participating in the defense of a state Party threatened with dis-accreditation and engaging in a discussion and debate on the substance of the disagreement as crimes in themselves worthy of expulsion.

    1. We five do support the Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights, though many other opponents of Georgia's dis-accreditation in the DnE Caucus do not. The Declaration is about protecting the rights of women as a sex.  It is not transphobic, despite the overblown claims of sex denying trans-rights extremists who hold that any assertion of separate rights for persons born female is inherently bigoted.

    2. We five have (in fact) not published offensive, defamatory or transphobic content in contravention to GPUS's core values. If the Nevada Green Party had read and understood the extensive record presented during the dis-accreditation process (pleadings, depositions) it would understand this fact. The five accused support all basic human rights of trans-identified people.

  • The U.S. Chapter of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign Stands in support of the Georgia Green Party

    Logo for the Women's Human Rights Campaign USAOriginally published at:

    The U.S. Chapter of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign Stands in support of the Georgia Green Party

    Posted on July 29, 2021 by WHRC USA

    At approximately 3:00 a.m. EST on July 27, 2021, the Green National Committee revoked the accreditation of the Georgia Green Party as a member state party of the Green Party of the United States. The final vote was 199 (sic) to revoke, 17 opposed, and 6 to abstain (Editor's note: actually 119-17-6).

    The U.S. chapter of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign (WHRC USA) denounces this shameful and pathetic misogyny.

    The reason that the National Committee revoked the state party chapter is that the chapter had endorsed the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, which affirms the privacy rights of women and girls to female-only spaces such as changing rooms, communal showers, shelters, and prisons, as well as female-only programs such as sports programs, and scholarships for women. The Declaration also advocates for the protection of children who refuse to conform to sex-based stereotypes and condemns experimental treatments that will likely render them sterile and cause other permanent harms. The Declaration has been signed by over 19 thousand individuals from over 130 countries and by more than 350 organizations. A complaint had been submitted by the party’s Lavender Caucus, complaining that endorsing the Declaration is “transphobic.”

    In her brief in “Defense of the Georgia Green Party to the Complaint of the Lavender Caucus”, Ann Menasche, counsel assisting the Georgia Green Party in their defense, characterizes “(t)he Lavender Caucus’s Complaint (as) full of misstatements of facts and half-truths, and smears based on nothing more than ‘guilt by association’ … This shameful persecution echoes the notorious methods utilized by the McCarthy witch-hunt of the mid-20th century”. 

    “Last week’s vote, built on a record of repeated due process violations, has made it clear that the members of the national committee are neither prepared to govern nor to serve as ‘responsible policy makers’ in a democracy,” said Hugh Esco, Secretary of the Georgia Green Party and a lead sponsor of the platform amendment at the heart of the controversy.  The Georgia Green Party has been supported in its defense efforts by a broad coalition of hundreds of Greens across the nation (and around the world), many operating as a Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus, which has given rise, as well, to a new Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights expected to soon announce the launch of its website.”

    WHRC USA stands with our sisters and brothers at the Georgia Green Party.

    Women, shown here sillhouetted against the horizon, hold up half the sky.
  • Dialogue not Expulsion Reply to the Green Party National Steering Committee

    Dialogue not Expulsion Reply
    to the Green Party National Steering Committee
    June 4, 2021 pdf

    The statement issued on Monday, May 24, by the national Steering Committee of the Green Party titled “GPUS Steering Committee Statement on the Dialog not Expulsion Caucus” consists of nothing more than a list of baseless assertions about our caucus and its political motives. There isn’t a single citation of a single policy of our caucus, a single word we have written, or a single action we have taken that can substantiate even one of the accusations made. By any reasonable standard of political discourse, therefore, such a statement should simply be dismissed out of hand.

    Socrates -- When debate is lost, slander becomes tool of losers
    Socrates -- When debate is lost, slander becomes tool of losers

    Still, we do not find ourselves at a moment in history when reasonable standards of political discourse seem to prevail. We will, therefore, say a few words more.

    “Dialogue not Expulsion” began life as a sign-on statement that is posted here. Later some of those who signed onto the statement gathered together in a group to engage in concerted action to defend reasonable standards of political discourse in the Green Party. On our website we posted both formal statements of our caucus (all specifically identified as such) and relevant comments made by individuals or collectives with different points of view about the issues in dispute (also clearly identified as to who their authors are). That is our only crime: We called for and attempted to facilitate a political discussion about the political issues in dispute in our party as an alternative (and in opposition) to the campaign for the expulsion of the Georgia Green Party because of its expressed views on questions of sex and gender.

    We used the word “caucus” to describe ourselves. This is a normal English usage of a normal English word that is recognized in every political collective we are aware of. Now, in the Green Party, it suddenly becomes an indictable offense. We adopted the Earthflower logo for our website—the display of which as a fair-use item substantially predates the founding of the Green Party of the United States—in order to illustrate our commitment to the core values of the Green Party. This, we are told, is some sinister plot.

    Why is it that those who are setting an agenda for the national Steering Committee choose to focus the present declaration on trivial complaints of this nature rather than to engage in any serious discussion about the political issues that underlie the current crisis in our party? The obvious explanation is that they do not feel they can make a case that is strong enough on the substantive issues. They proceed, therefore, with a torrent of attacks on the character and motives of those with whom they disagree, based on half-truths and outright distortions, hoping that people will forget about the political issues.

    We will assert, further, that it is completely improper for the national Steering Committee of the Green Party to take sides in a dispute that is, shortly, going to come before the full national Committee for discussion and decision. The SC is a subcommittee of the NC and, by rights, should play a neutral role, strictly as the facilitator of a fair and honest assessment by the NC of the relevant questions. This has now been made impossible, however, by the choice to denounce one side—even before the report of the Accreditation Committee is brought to the NC. We find it of some considerable interest that this is the first and only time to our knowledge the national Steering Committee has issued a formal public declaration. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis did not stimulate such an action. The most recent Israeli attack on Palestinian civilians did not stimulate such an action, nor did any of a number of noteworthy events in between. On its face this would seem most extraordinary.

    The tragedy we face is that this effort to substitute slanders for political discussion may well succeed if Greens who know better fail to speak up. But of course the intimidation of Greens who know better, making it impossible for them to speak up for fear of being the next ones subject to a torrent of personal attacks, is one of the clear effects a declaration like this from the national leadership of the Green Party is inevitably going to have. As we say: it portends a tragedy—which will be a tragedy for the US Green Party far more than for those of us who have been active in DnE. We therefore call on members and supporters of the Green Party in the USA to demand something better from their leading committee than what this statement offers us.

    If it is a crime to request an honest political discussion of honest political disagreements we hereby commit the same offense again. And we ask others to do likewise.

  • Responding to the Steering Committee's unfounded public attack on the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus

    Responding to the Steering Committee's unfounded public attack on the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus
    By the Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party

    We are a group of Dialogue Not Expulsion members who have constituted ourselves into the Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party, to coordinate the defense of the Georgia Party from threat of dis-accreditation. The statement below speaks for us and not for DNE, which is working on its own response.

    In moral panics, accusation trumps evidence
    In moral panics,
    accusation trumps evidence

    The GPUS Steering Committee statement issued on May 24, 2021 reflects a politics that is centralized, top-down, disrespectful of diversity, and counter to feminism and ecological wisdom. It sabotages the existing processes of the party, prejudicing the outcome, robbing the National Committee of its legitimate authority in deciding the dispute over the proposed dis-accreditation of the Georgia Green party, and poisoning the voter pool. The statement also contains a series of wild accusations about the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus and its political mission, including claims of “a campaign of disruption” and engagement with “multiple international hate groups”. It does not, however, provide a word of evidence to support these allegations.

    Indeed, the accusations are all fiction, ungrounded in material reality, a mishmash of falsehoods and paranoid conspiratorial ideation, with one overriding message -- agree completely, no questioning allowed, and reject all critical thought, or else become the next target of this witch-hunt. Such methods are the exact opposite of everything for which the Green Party stands. Within a day of approving its statement, the Steering Committee posted it to the website, tweeted the statement, and linked from the home page to the tweeted statement. Its evident purpose was to intimidate delegates who will soon be voting on whether to disaffiliate the Georgia party. Importantly, the Steering Committee has issued this statement without having examined any of the evidence offered by the Georgia Green Party in its defense.

    Working to serve the SC, the Forum Managers (listserv moderators) suppressed a posting by an NC delegate, David Keil, on 5/24/21, that responded to the SC statement. This has followed the systematic silencing of dissenting delegates since the recent election of new forum managers.  Among the messages suppressed by the Forum Managers were posts that pointed out that the Accreditation Committee presumed for itself the authority to write its own hearing rules in the dis-accreditation process, contrary to the rule that the National Committee has retained this authority to set the rules for our party’s standing committees.  The improvised hearing rules disrespect basic due process required to protect respondents in an adversarial setting. The Accreditation Committee adopted rules that specifically prohibit any mechanism for directly confronting the respondent’s accusers or calling, examining or cross-examining witnesses.

    The witch hunt against the Georgia party has included one male delegate (an officer of the Youth Caucus) making veiled threats of physical violence against a female delegate; delegates’ dismissal of earlier overt threats of physical violence and doxxing by the same male against the same female; another male delegate (appointed by the Youth Caucus) doxxing a dissenter and his family, threatening his target’s employment as well; the announcement that dissenting delegates are “fascists”; demands by NC members that states recall delegates guilty of allegedly incorrect views; and assertions that the NC itself may violate the basic rules of the Green federation by expelling delegates named by their state parties to serve on the National Committee.

    Follow the Read More link for the rest of the statement.

  • Accreditation Committee Conducting Coup of National Committee Powers

    Bill of Attainder, defined.
    Bill of Attainder, defined.

    The rules of the party reserve for the National Committee jurisdiction over the rules of the standing committee's of the party.  Yet the Accreditation Committee has been conducting its investigation of the complaint filed by the National Lavender Caucus seeking the revocation of accreditation for the Georgia Green Party under guidelines formulated internally and never submitted for ratification of the National Committee.  In fact, in spite of language anticipating a hearing at the Annual Meeting of the national party, conducted under rules formulated by the National Committee, the Accreditation Committee had previously referred a complaint for the revocation of accreditation for the Alaska party without a hearing. 

    The AC guidelines failed to respect basic tenants of procedural due process, explicitly denying an opportunity for the party's to cross-examine witnesses or to examine one another.  They have treated the resolution of these complaints as an administrative matter to be resolved with an investigation, a committee hearing and a vote on a question of policy, rather than an adversarial process in which the Respondent to the complaint faces punitive sanctions. 

    The whole process reminds us of lessons too many of us seem to have forgotten from our High School Civics classes, about the motivations for the late 18th Century American Revolution.  This is how one website defines bill of attainder:

    The term “Bill of Attainder” refers to the act of declaring a group of people guilty of a crime, and punishing them for it, usually without a trial. Officials have used bills of attainder to strip individuals of everything from their property to their lives. For example, bills of attainder caused the famous executions of several people by the English king, Henry VIII. To explore this concept, consider the following Bill of Attainder definition.

    Definition of Bill of Attainder


    1. A law that sentences a person, or group of people, to suffer punishment for a crime without being able to exercise their judicial rights in defending themselves.


    1425-1475       Late Middle English

    Why the U.S. Constitution Forbids Bills of Attainder

    The U.S. Constitution forbids Bills of Attainder in Article 1, Sections 9 and 10. The ban extends to both the state and federal governments. The fact that the ban extends to the states shows just how important those who drafted the Constitution believed this issue to be. There are two main reasons why the U.S. Constitution Forbids Bills of Attainder:

    1. The ban reinforces the separation of powers by forbidding the legislative branch of government from engaging in judicial or executive acts.
    2. The ban supports the concept of due process, one of the rights attributed by the Constitution to every American citizen.
  • Accreditation Committee Dodges Responsibilities for Conducting a Fair Evidentiary Hearing

    No rules exist for an evidentiary hearing anticipated by the rules of the party

    But the Accreditation Committee did conduct a vote on a set of guidelines for a process short of an evidentiary hearing and without submitting them for ratification by the National Committee has started the clock, on April 12th, on a thirty day process for its investigation, in a document entitled proposed rules.  These rules prohibit cross-examination, make no provision to compel testimony, allow those offering testimony to choose whether to answer questions or not and limits each committee member to five minutes of questions for each witness. 

  • Illinois Party Chairman Weighs In, Supports Open Political Discussion

    A few months back, when the Lavender Caucus was seeking co-sponsors for its complaint before the Accreditation Committee seeking to revoke the accreditation of the Georgia Green Party, the question came before the Illinois Party.  Rich Whitney, an attorney, past Green Party nominee for Governor of Illinois (who took 10% of the state-wide vote) and current chairman of the Illinois party, opposed his state party's becoming embroiled in the controversy.  What follows was written by Rich Whitney who prepared it for circulation among the state committee in Illinois. Today he released his brief on the subject for circulation before the National Committee.  

    1. There is no such thing as a “violation” of the national Green Party platform. The platform is not a code of conduct and disagreement with any particular part of the national platform is not, and never has been, a basis for disaffiliation of a member state party – nor should it be. The platform is at most a guide, more or less reflecting a majoritarian view of what policies are favored by most Greens at any given point in time. It is a living document (or work in progress), constantly subject to review, disagreement, revision and amendment. The platform does not serve as our principles of unity, and never has – nor should it. Just as our state party does not insist that every member agree with every statement in our state platform, the national party cannot insist that every member state party agree with every statement in the national platform as a condition of membership.

    Rich Whitney weighs in on NLC Complaint
    Rich Whitney weighs in on NLC Complaint

    Our principles of unity are not found in the platform but in the Ten Key Values. In fact, state parties do not even necessarily have to adhere to the Ten Key Values, as long as they adhere to the Four Pillars. As stated in Article II of the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United States:

    II. Criteria for State Party Membership in the Green Party of the United States.

    1. Acceptance of the four pillars of the international Green Party movement [ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, non-violence] or the Ten Key Values as guiding principles.

    2. Organized and run in accordance with these values.

    3. A statewide organization open to, and reflective of, a statewide membership.

    4. Agrees to support national candidates selection by Green convention.

    5. Makes good faith effort, where reasonable, to achieve ballot status.

    6. Makes good faith effort to run state and local candidates.

    7. Has applied to GREEN PARTY for accreditation, and has included written by-laws, platform, and other documentation with that application.

    8. Has a history of networking with other environmental and social justice organizations.

    9. Evidence of commitment to, and good faith efforts to achieve, gender balance in party leadership and representation.

    10. Evidence of good faith efforts to empower individuals and groups from oppressed communities, through, for example, leadership responsibilities, identity caucuses and alliances with community-based organizations, and endorsements of issues and policies.”

    Agreement with the national party platform, let alone every provision of the platform, is not on the list of criteria. If there are grounds for suspending or terminating the affiliation of the Georgia Green Party, they must be based on one or more of these criteria, not disagreement or conflict with the national platform.

    Indeed, it would set a terrible precedent to base either suspension or disaffiliation of a member party based on the national platform. For example, the national party recently voted down a proposed platform amendment (proposal 1005) that called for recognizing legal “personhood” to natural eco-systems (basically adopting the position of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) and designating at least 50% of the planet as a nature reserve. If a state party were to adopt such a position in its own platform, or publicly express support for such a proposal, would the national party then be justified in suspending or expelling that state party as well?

  • Guilt by Association as a Tool of Reaction: ME’s Hit Piece against Radical Feminists

    “Guilt by Association” as a Tool of Reaction:
    ME’s Hit Piece against Radical Feminists
    (pdf version)

    Imagine reading an article in the progressive press:

    Green Party reveals its right-wing and Russian ties. The surprising nexus between Greens and the Republican white supremacist far Right revealed its ugly head when Greens shamelessly joined racists in opposing the Voting Rights Bill, HR 1, the most important voting rights bill that aims to ensure voting access in a generation. This action can only encourage the suppression of the Black vote as well as the vicious murders of Black people by racist police. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the Green Party has aligned with the extreme Right, receiving help – financial and otherwise - from Republicans in gaining ballot access, to aligning with far Right libertarian Rand Paul on a number of bills in Congress and working with Russia to throw the election to Trump in 2016. Jill Stein even sat at a dinner in Russia with Putin.

    We have all seen articles like this targeting the Green Party - full of lies, half-truths, distortions, and guilt by association – meant to close minds, silence dissent and ensure that the merits of a political position (in the above fictional example, the need for independence from the corporate duopoly and the poison pill in the voting rights bill) are never discussed.

    Guilt by Association as a Tool of Reaction:
    ME’s Hit Piece against Radical Feminists

    How distressing then to read Margaret Elizabeth’s piece, “WoLF, TERFS and the Religious Right, oh my,”, and learn that such despicable and yes, reactionary methods -reminiscence of Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist hysteria of the 1950’s - are being used by the Lavender Caucus and its supporters against all those expressing gender critical feminist views within the Green Party. Indeed, “guilt by association” has gone so far here that several degrees of removal from the original “guilty” party are enough to paint someone with the same brush.  Life-long socialists and long-time members of the Party have been accused by the Lavender Caucus and their supporters of aligning with the Proud Boys!

    The smears against those who question a particular version of transgender politics have no basis in fact. There is no “symbiotic relationship” between gender critical feminists and the Christian Right. GC feminists and their allies have politics generally ranging from mainstream Democrat, to progressive Democrat, to independent to socialist to Green. Overwhelmingly, GC feminists unequivocally support lesbian and gay rights, birth control, the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights and the right of everyone to dress, express themselves, and pursue their interests as they chose, which many people refer to as “gender.”

    These are hardly Christian fundamentalist Right wing positions.

    The truth is that GC feminist and LGB groups are notoriously poor. They usually lack paid staff and have budgets that are tiny to non-existent. Yes, WoLF took a relatively small amount of money from the Right on one occasion, a move that, by the way, was widely condemned by GC radical feminists.

  • My Take on the Substantive Issues, a personal declaration by Steve Bloom

    My Take on the Substantive Issues (pdf version)
    by Steve Bloom

    [Note—this piece was posted on April 2, 2021, to the work list of the NY State Green Party State Committee.]

    The dispute between the National Lavender Caucus and the Georgia Green Party regarding the “International Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights” presently confronts our national party with a choice that is going to be destructive no matter what choice is made.

    It shouldn’t have to be that way.

    My Take on the Substantive Issues, a personal declaration by Steve Bloom
         My Take on the Substantive Issues,
         a personal declaration by Steve Bloom

    Both sides in the dispute bear some considerable measure of blame for this difficulty, because each of them poses the political issues in dispute as a zero-sum game: an affirmation of one position requires a rejection of the other, full stop. “There is no middle ground” is a phrase I have heard often from my gender-critical radical-feminist friends. Clearly the forces allied with the National Lavender Caucus feel the same way. I insist, however, that the task of reasonable people in the Green Party and elsewhere is to create the middle ground we need to begin to inhabit on this issue, even if we have to pull both the most militant wing of the NLC and of the GCRFs kicking and screaming into that process.

    On one issue and one issue only I place 100 percent of the blame on the NLC forces: They are the ones who reject a coexistence in the broad-tent of the Green Party including those with whom they disagree on questions of sex and gender. The NLC calls for the expulsion of Georgia. There is no reciprocal call by the Georgia Party or by the consciously GCRF members of the US Green Party for the expulsion of the NLC. That’s why I have so far been able to work with GCRF elements in Dialogue not Expulsion, because the goal of that formation is to avoid a split in the party over this question.  There are many political issues where the Green Party has different wings, broad currents which affirm opposite sides of important issues—and where we simply agree to disagree. The civil war in Syria can be noted as the clearest example. Those on each side of this question might, quite reasonably, make a case that the other is in violation of our Ten Key Values. And yet no one would consider expelling someone else based on their viewpoint regarding the Syrian civil war. Likewise with the divide between ecosocialists and green capitalists. We find ways to coexist.

    It is my judgment that we should be able to carve out a reasonable modus operandi on the sex/gender question too, where those on both sides look for ways to coexist and build a common party — based on our collective goal of forging a genuinely independent electoral alternative in the USA.

    * * * * *

    On the substantive questions in dispute all I can do is express my personal viewpoint. I know that many will not agree with that viewpoint. Still, it’s my hope that if others consider my specific perspective on the substantive issues it might help generate an understanding of why I believe it’s possible to create a middle ground, and why I see this as perhaps the most important task:

  • Green Feminists Response to Lavender Caucus Complaint

    Please follow the 'read more' link to access the full text of the "Green Feminists: A Women's Liberation Collective" 10-page response, dated February 18, 2021, to the Accreditation Committee complaint brought by the Lavender Caucus against the Georgia Green Party.

    Green Feminists Fist Logo

    We are an organization of Green Party feminists—women, adult human females—working to ensure that one of our Party’s Ten Key Values, that of feminism, is given due weight in the internal functioning of the Green Party (GPUS) and in our public campaigns, and that those who defend these rights are not targeted or silenced within our Party. We wholeheartedly agree that our society “has inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics” (TKV no. 7) and that the “change the world is crying for cannot occur unless women’s voices are heard.” (GPUS Platform, II(A)(1)). Our Women’s Liberation Collective demands equal participation and representation for our sex within the Green Party and society.


    We maintain that defending the sex-based rights of women and girls is not ‘hate’ and that biology is not ‘bigotry’. We further maintain that “respect for diversity” also includes respect and tolerance for diverse opinions, particularly in a political party that claims feminism as one of its 10 Key Values, rather than attempting to silence the voices of those of us born female.

    We urge the Accreditation Committee (and the National Committee, if necessary) to uphold our Green values of feminism, respect for diversity, grassroots democracy, and decentralization, and dismiss the mean-spirited and ill-founded complaint made by the Lavender Caucus against the Georgia Green Party.

  • "Greens for Dialogue not Expulsion" responds to NLGC complaint against the Georgia Green Party

    Here you will find the full text of a statement, dated January 31, 2021, reflecting the viewpoint of the Dialogue not Expulsion Caucus, in response to the National Lavender Green Caucus (NLGC) complaint against the Georgia Green Party (GaGP) recently filed with the Accreditation Committee.

    You've had too much to think; with appreciation to Redline for the image
    You've had too much to think;
    with appreciation to Redline for the image

    There are, in fact, a significant number of medical practitioners who have objected to the prevailing treatments for “gender dysphoria.” Lay people are also entitled to an educated dissent. This is not a crime, and cannot be treated as if it were by the Green Party.

    . . .

    To date there has been no response from the Lavender Caucus and its supporters to any of these proposals for a structured political conversation in which all members of the Green Party can participate.

    . . .

    It would be a grave disservice to the democratic functioning of our party therefore—indeed an action far beyond the limited authority delegated to your committee—for the AC to now take it upon itself to establish “violation of the national platform” as a new offense punishable by suspension or disaccreditation.

    . . .

    Surely we are not going to act based on the idea that taking what some believe to be the wrong positionin a political dispute about how to apply our key values is now an offense which justifies one segment of the party expelling another.

    . . .

    If there is not even a single point in this complaint that justifies the action proposed, and it is clear fromthe assessment above that there is not, then the complaint itself should, simply, be rejected both by the AC and by all Greens who are interested in maintaining a spirit of democracy and political pluralism in our party.

    Follow the read more link to read the entire document or download the four page pdf here.

  • FULL TEXT -- Ann Menasche Responds to the Lavender Caucus Complaint Seeking to Purge Georgia Party

    I'm sorry, Jeanette.  While your answer was correct, Walter was offended by it, so he gets the point.
    Walter was offended by it, so he gets the point.

    Having reviewed the Complaint filed against the Georgia Green Party it is quite apparent to me that Margaret Elisabeth has likely read neither the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock vs. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020), nor the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act. If these documents were indeed read, Margaret Elisabeth completely misunderstands or else has consciously misrepresented what Bostock and the Feminist Amendments stand for.

    Whether Margaret Elizabeth acted purposefully or was merely misinformed, the Bostock decision as it actually reads and the Feminist Amendments as actually drafted provide no basis for criticizing not to speak of suspending the Georgia State Party.

  • Ann Menasche Responds to the Lavender Caucus Complaint Seeking to Purge Georgia Party

    Yeah, if people would stop putting words in my mouth; that would be great.
    Yeah, if people would stop putting words
    in my mouth; that would be great. 

    My name was mentioned specifically in the Lavender Caucus Complaint against the Georgia Party. In addition, there were several false or misleading statements in the Complaint including about the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (which I co-authored) and the Bostock decision. I believe that I should have an opportunity to correct the record.

    A pdf version of Ms. Menasche's letter is available here, while a plain text version is linked here

    Hi Andy and Lyn,

    I am writing to you in your capacity as co-chairs of the Accreditation Committee for the national Party.

    My name was mentioned specifically in the Lavender Caucus Complaint against the Georgia Party.  In addition, there were several false or misleading statements in the Complaint including about the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (which I co-authored) and the Bostock decision.  I believe that I should have an opportunity to correct the record.

    My response is attached. I respectfully request that it be shared with the members of the Committee.

    I am open to responding to any questions or to engaging in respectful dialogue with any Committee member who may be so inclined.


    Ann Menasche

  • FULL TEXT -- GaGP Response to complaint by National Lavender Committee to Accreditation Committee

    Occupy Wall Street?  Introduce them to identity politics
    Occupy Wall Street?  Introduce them to identity politics

    Madame and Mister Co-Chairs,

    . . .

    III. In response we offer the following:

    A. the NLC complaint relies on accusations without evidence

    B. violation of the Platform is not an actionable offense

    C. NLC case relies on a narrow and controversial interpretation

    D. implication of NLC’s interpretation requires compelled thought and compelled speech, inconsistent with Green values, scientific method and democratic engagement

    E. national party platform is a living document

    F. NLC interpretation is inconsistent with the Green Party’s key values

    G. the Green Party is a feminist political party

    H. coherent logic is made impossible by imprecise use of language

    I. democracy requires that rules be constructed based on the meaning ascribed to words by the deliberative bodies adopting such rules

    J. debate on underlying issue complicated by involvement of monied interests and the corporate capture of public and private institutions

    K. meaning of ‘gender’ has shifted since party rules were formulated

    L. NLC has engaged in anti-democratic bullying behaviors which have threatened internal democracy within the Green Party

    IV. in closing

    For all of these reasons and more, we urge this committee to table and ignore this spurious complaint and to allow our national party's platform process to serve its purpose as the venue for debate on the political divisions over public policy within our party.

    . . .

  • Georgia Party Responds to Lavender Caucus Complaint Seeking to Purge Georgia Party

    Malcom X taught us: the media will have you hating the oppressed and loving the oppressor.
    Malcom X taught us:
    the media will have you hating
    the oppressed and loving the oppressor.

    In their complaint (referred to in this document as the NLC complaint or the complaint), the complainant seeks action by the Accreditation Committee with the intended result of ‘suspending’ the Georgia Green Party, placing our state party on ‘inactive status’; or alternately to take action to ‘disaccredit’ our state party, by asking the Green National Committee to sever its relationship with the Georgia party.

    . . .

    The NLC complaint fails to state an actionable claim that either proposed outcome is justified. We urge that this committee (1) reject this complaint, (2) exercise patience that the party’s process for the democratic revision to its platform will function to resolve disputes among accredited members over platform language and (3) allow our state and national parties to return to the important work of building capacity for the election cycle which began as the polls closed November 3rd, 2020.

    Read the full text here:

    Grab the pdf version to read the entire response,  .  .  .  

    also published at Georgia Green Party site, an excerpt in html, full text in pdf.

  • National Lavender Green Caucus files complaint with Accreditation Committee seeking dis-accreditation of the Georgia Green Party

    The Accreditation Committee of the Green Party of the United States has given notice to the officers of the Georgia Green Party of their intention to give consideration as early as January 22nd, 2021 to a complaint filed by the co-chair of the National Lavender Green Caucus seeking the dis-accreditation of the Georgia Green Party.

    Greens are not Democratic Centralists, never have been.
    Greens are not Democratic Centralists, never have been.
  • DNE Responds to Diversity Cmte Statement 10.7.20

    On September 25, 2020, Anita Rios, co-chair of the GPUS Diversity Committee, shared the committee’s response “to the Georgia Green Party’s affirmation of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights” on the NC-Affairs list. The following is the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus’ official response to that statement, ratified by consensus on October 7th.


    Official comment by the Dialogue not Expulsion Caucus
    pdf version

    Diversity and Inclusion -- how it works under gender ideology
    Diversity and Inclusion -- gender ideology style

    October 7, 2020The statement from the Diversity Committee dated September 23, dealing with the controversy between the Lavender Caucus and the Georgia Green Party starts with an assertion of fact:

    “We find [the ‘Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights’] adds to the oppression of transgendered individuals and, as such, is inconsistent with Green values.”

    The Lavender Caucus itself made the same assertion in its initial complaint against the Georgia Green Party, citing this as the reason to decertify the Georgia party if it refused to reconsider. And yet both the Diversity Committee and the LC have failed to offer a single quote or proposal from the document to justify their claim.

    The Georgia Greens, along with many other members of our national party, reject this assertion.

    We are dealing with a political dispute which needs to be engaged the way all political disputes should be. In organizations that value democracy we encourage those with diverse viewpoints to explain what they think. Such a political debate ought to take place before Green Party members attempt to draw definitive conclusions about which position they support. We assert that the cancel-culture tactics which have met efforts to engage in such a discussion regarding the present dispute have created an environment hostile to the mostly women who wish to engage on these issues—so hostile that it has served to silence them. We find it extremely ironic and highly problematic that a political party which claims to value feminism has shut down women who wish to discuss matters of public policy from a woman's perspective.

    In addition, we need this kind of discussion to determine how we can live with our disagreement while still maintaining party unity, something Greens manage on many issues.

    And yet the Diversity Committee has chosen to take one side in this political dispute (while citing no evidence whatsoever) before the national party has done anything to organize the conversation we need. This is inappropriate. We also believe it to be beyond the scope of the Committee's mission which charges the DC with responsibility "to create a political community where all are welcomed, respected and encouraged to participate at all levels." The DC statement, however, creates a hostile environment for feminists, a core constituency of this party. The DC and other leadership bodies of the national party, and of state parties too, should instead be working to develop the discussion needed to help party members draw informed conclusions for themselves.

    In its statement the DC suggests that Greens may not disagree with particular positions that are included in our national platform, nor even propose an interpretation that is different from that of the Lavender Caucus. Here is the specific language: “The Green Party of the United States has affirmed in our platform that trans women are women, trans men are men, and all children deserve the opportunity to live and grow in the world into their own self-determined place and presence regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

  • DNE AdCom Responds to being Labeled 'Hate Group'

    The Administrative Committee of the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus responds on May 15th to being labeled a 'hate group' by a co-chair of the Lavender Caucus, and again calls for a party-wide discussion on sex and gender issues.

    From: The Ad Com of the DNE Caucus
    To: GPUS National Committee, GPUS Steering Committee
    CC: Dario Hunter, Latinx Caucus, Lavender Greens, Young Ecosocialists, Black Caucus, National Women's Caucus
    Date: May 15, 2020

    pdf version

    May 15, 2020

    Truth as a Revolutionary Act
    Truth as a Revolutionary Act

    It has come to our attention that there have been some decidedly inflammatory comments made by the co-chair of the Lavender Caucus in reference to the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus, an affinity group formed in response to threats of expulsion of the Georgia Green Party for its endorsement of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights. In an email posted to the NC-Affairs list on May 10, Margaret Elisabeth wrote in reference to the DNE, "Given the tremendous amount of Astroturfing that most of these hate groups are funded with, I have to question the motivation and intention of every one of the people involved in this."

    Characterizing the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus as a “hate group” funded by dark money is a libelous remark, apparently intended to silence anyone who believes that the topics of sex and gender should be the subject of democratic discussion with input from all stakeholders, rather than decided by fiat at the behest of a select group. The DNE Caucus is founded on respect for democratic process and free expression, allowing input from everyone involved, and for the record is a zero-budget, grassroots operation with no financial backing. DNE is by no means a “hate group.” We unequivocally denounce these unsupported allegations.

    Also for the record, it bears repeating that DNE does NOT take positions with regard to sex and gender or the Declaration, and is comprised of individuals with diverse views on these topics.

    In a statement May 9, LC supporter and candidate Dario Hunter escalated his attack on the Georgia Green Party, refusing to treat it as legitimate enough to even hold a candidate forum. Declining to attend Georgia's forum, he tweeted, "They have zero legitimacy or impartiality for such an event." The GaGP is the Georgia affiliate of the Green Party, which is in the process of choosing its candidates for President and Vice President. It’s unfortunate to see candidate Hunter expend political capital attacking fellow Greens when he has the opportunity to build bridges with them instead. One would think that he aims to be the presidential candidate for all Greens, which would presumably include those residing in the state of Georgia.

    The Lavender Caucus and its allies evidently wish to drive out of the Green Party all who oppose their campaign of purging and splitting. They are pre-empting any process for dialogue and are attempting to enforce their own judgments before party members have had the opportunity to even begin discussing the issues at hand. This risks a national split in the GPUS. By contrast, we in the DNE support party unity, advocate for the right of all GPUS members to voice their opinions about sex and gender, and as always, call for dialogue not expulsion.

    Administrative Committee of
    the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus

  • Letter to Lavender Green Caucus, 2020-May-10

    In a Mothers' Day message, the DnE Caucus responds to public statements by officers of the Lavender Caucus deconstructing its spurious claims intended to discredit the work of DnE supporters and the DnE Caucus, and reiterating its demands for a civil conversation among Party supporters on questions raised by advocates for public policies grounded in gender ideology.

    From: The Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus
    To: The Lavender Green Caucus
    CC: Dario Hunter, GPUS National Committee, GPUS Steering Committee
    Date: May 10, 2020

    We have learned that the co-chairs of the Lavender Caucus have informed the National Committee that they are unwilling to reply to the concrete proposal made by the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus for carrying out a party-wide democratic discussion of issues of sex and gender within the Green Party. This refusal is on highly dubious grounds.

    This empty book shelf includes all the peer reviewed science that proves that trans women are women
    In case you wondered why Gender
    Ideologists will not engage in
    honest dialogue with feminists.

    First, the LC described this as an “anonymous email” from a “random group of Greens” but made no attempt to obtain additional information by simply replying to the email.  Moreover, who we are should have been no mystery to the leadership of the LC who is certainly aware of the Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion Statement that has been circulating around the country. Members of the Georgia Party are part of our caucus but it is far broader than that. The DNE Statement now has 216 signers, Greens from 36 U.S. states plus Washington D.C. and five other nations. To state the obvious, the caucus derives from the DNE Statement's signatories, the vast majority of whom are publicly identified. By contrast, the petition of the Lavender Caucus, with 124 signers, lists no names whatsoever other than the co-chairs, so it is unknown who is supporting their petition or behind their statements.

    Second, the LC refuses to acknowledge that this dispute concerns the entire party, not just the LC and the Georgia Greens. The LC would prefer to keep the disagreement confined to the LC and the Georgia Green Party behind closed doors, to continue to threaten Georgia with decertification and to make misleading statements claiming that the Georgia Party has refused a dialogue, when nothing could be further from the truth. In its written response to Dario and the LC on April 7th, the Georgia Green Party clearly stated "The resolution of this conflict must engage a party-wide conversation on the underlying issues", repeatedly opened the door to ongoing dialogue (though not necessarily on terms solely defined by Dario and the LC), and additionally proposed a written exchange on the issues in dispute.

    The DNE also previously called for a discussion of the substantive issues in its April 2nd response to the GPUS Steering Committee letter condemning the Georgia Green Party for its “unfortunate statements” in support of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights.  Those of us in DNE have a range of viewpoints on that document, but we are united in the opinion that it raises important areas for discussion and debate within the Green Party, and that it is within the acceptable range of Green politics for those who do endorse the declaration to say so. This is a document already endorsed by over 7,300 individuals from 104 countries, in collaboration with 150 organizations. There are many Greens outside of Georgia who agree with the Georgia Party’s actions endorsing thedeclaration, and there are still more who, while they may have some disagreement with the declaration or are undecided, feel that the party would benefit from a conversation about the issues raised in that text.

    There is more than one oppressed or marginalized group whose rights are implicated in this dispute, those of the female sex, and those of transgender individuals, among others.  The Green Party, using our tools of grassroots democracy, is in the best position to openly discuss these complex issues and seek resolution. However the DRC process plays out, every Green member has the right to voice her/his opinion about sex and gender.

    Third, the fact that we are not an officially recognized caucus is irrelevant. It’s a basic principle of democracy that people should have a right to organize based on common political views or approaches. Our caucus is an affinity caucus rather than an identity caucus and neither seeks nor requires recognition from the Green Party as an “official”caucus. The DNE Caucus is quite diverse in our views on sex and gender but is united on the need for a broader and deeper democracy within the Green Party and against autocratic methods exhibited by the Lavender Greens that would seek to silence or expel Greens with dissenting views.

    Finally, none of us are “haters” or “bigots”. No one is trying to take away anyone’s freedom to see themselves as they choose and express themselves as they like. We all support basic civil and human rights for everyone. There are members of our caucus who are lesbian, gay or bisexual and/or who are gender non-conforming ourselves. None of us are Republicans or Democrats – we are Greens. We don’t want to repeal the Social Justice Pillar, but to deepen our understanding of it through democratic discussion so everyone’s rights are protected to the fullest extent possible.

    Should the Lavender Caucus reconsider its refusal to engage in an open and respectful dialogue involving the whole Party, we will be glad to appoint representatives to meet with it to discuss how a genuine and productive dialogue could be organized within the Party.

    In solidarity,
    Kerri Bruss and Ann Menasche
    For the Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus

  • Open Letter to Dario Hunter and the Lavender Caucus

    On April 29th, the DnE Caucus sent an open letter to the leadership of the Lavender Caucus recommending two strategies for framing a party wide discussion on conflicts over competing public policy demands rooted in the diverse perspectives among Greens around sex and gender; specifically (1) establishing 'an online discussion buletin' for 'a respectful exchange of ideas'; and (2) organizing a 'public forum' to hear a 'range of viewpoints' on the subject.

    Let's Build Bridges, Not Walls.
    Let's Build Bridges, Not Walls.


  • Georgia Party Responds to Invitation from Lavender Caucus

    On April 7th, the Georgia Green Party responded publicly to an invitation to a 'reconciliation retreat' with a letter published to the state party's website and delivered to Dario Hunter who had sought to broker such a retreat. In their letter they describe a range of behaviors by Lavender Caucus leadership and supporters which have created a hostile environment in party forums, and propose a party-wide conversation, stating that they welcome "an opportunity to participate in dialogue on the issues raised by the Platform amendment which has been the subject of this recent controversy".

    When your actions contradict your words, your message is clear.
    When your actions contradict your words,
    your message is clear.

    Originally published, April 7th, 2020 on the website of the Georgia Green Party:

    At the Georgia Green Party's recent Bonaire Nominating Convention on February 22d, Delegates without objection adopted an amendment to the Platform of the state party endorsing the Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights. Late that night, the news was released in the form of a two sentence plus a link post on the party's social media profile. Within a few days, that post attracted an international mobbing of the party's facebook profile by Greens around the country and trans-rights-activists around the world who equated standing up for the rights of women as an attack on trans identified individuals.

    The following week, the national Party's Lavender Caucus published a statement demanding that our party 'rescind its endorsement of the Declaration', issue a 'formal, written apology', 'commit to educating (our)selves and (our) membership about the necessity of gender affirmation' and that failing to take these steps, that 'the Georgia Green Party must be disaccredited and disavowed by the Green Party of the United States'.

    Shortly thereafter, Dario Hunter, a candidate seeking the Green Party nomination for the 2020 Presidential race began a process of shuttle diplomacy seeking to set up a private meeting between a spokesperson of the national party's Lavender Caucus and an officer of the Georgia state party. On March 16th, following agreement of the Lavender Caucus to participate in such a meeting, he extended a formal invitation to the Georgia state party to participate in what he had characterized as a 'Reconciliation Retreat'.

    As the conversation unfolded in national party channels the hateful rhetoric and name-calling targeting the women in the Party who were speaking up to defend the position taken by the Georgia Green Party was punctuated with threats of actual violence and doxxing. Multiple women were banned from national party social media forums for comments grounded in biological reality and their defense the rights of children to be protected from conversion therapy.

    An ad-hoc Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion have been circulating a petition to 'urge that instead of the action proposed by the Lavender Caucus a respectful discussion of these and related issues be organized' and that Greens 'take a step back from' efforts demanding that individual Greens or a state party be 'decertified, sanctioned, or silenced for positions they have adopted, or for concerns which they may have expressed on these important issues'. Greens from thirty-three states and the United Kingdom have so far signed this petition, which has shown twice the support of an opposing statement being circulated by the Lavender Caucus. Only last week, Greens for Dialogue Not Expulsion launched a public effort to build a national caucus to defend the party's commitment to grassroot democratic practices, the right of dissent and freedom of speech within the organization.

    On March 29th, the national party's Black Caucus weighed in to state: "We value discourse and reflective inquiry to resolve conflicts and the many pressing issues in our society today. As such we do not, yet, support expulsion of any affiliated state or caucus, on the issues of languaging around Women’s rights, Children’s rights, and Transperson’s rights. We are stating without reservation all of these are human rights and need to be take seriously. To this end we are aware that there are issues on many sides of these issues that need to have serious consideration. We are talking about real people with real issues and their concerns cannot be taken lightly."

    At its regular monthly meeting this past Sunday evening, the state committee of the Georgia Green Party authorized the response linked below to Dario Hunter's invitation. In the Party's letter, Georgia Greens respond to say:

  • Response to the GPUS Steering Committee

    Arundhati Roy: The deliberately silenced and preferably unheard.
    Arundhati Roy:
    The deliberately silenced and preferably unheard.

    Claiming that '(a)utocratic methods are no substitute for democratic discussion and debate', a newly organized Dialogue Not Expulsion Caucus on April 2d, 2020 wrote to members of the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States to take exception to a recent statement made by the Steering Commimttee, as 'totally inappropriate'; and urging them instead to 'take steps to organize the kind of national conversation recommended by the Dialogue Not Expulsion petition, allowing for everyone to have a voice, rather than rushing to judgment and making ill-informed statements'.

  • Statement by the National Black Caucus "Concerning the Georgia Green Party and the Transgender specific related issues", dated March 28, 2020

    Logo of the National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States On March 28, 2020, the National Black Caucus (NBC) released two statements through internal party channels, that were subsequently published to under the heading of "Statement from the National Black Caucus on recent issues and events." Because that 'statement' actually contains two separate documents, only one of which is relevant to the dispute between the Georgia Green Party (GaGP) and the National Lavender Green Caucus (NLGC), we are exercising our option to republish that publicly accessible statement here in it's entirety in order that we, and others, may link to the relevant text directly. Here is that statement, as originally published, in full at:


  • GaGP Platform Am HR3: Endorse the Declaration on Women’s Sex Based Rights

    On February 22nd, at a Nominating Convention of the Georgia Green Party Assembled in Bonaire Georgia, without objection, the Convention delegates were agreed to the adoption of a resolution to add the following language to the state party's platform, as part of the introductory text to its chapter on Human Rights.  

    We believe that it is possible for responsible policy makers to weigh the conflicts between existing law and the demands of those campaigning for the legal protections of trans-identified individuals, and to find nuanced approaches which will protect the latter without gutting from the former the gains that women have made for the protection of the sex-based rights of women under the law." "We are extremely concerned for the questionable medical ethics at play when children, incapable for fully informed consent, are subject to medical interventions under so-called gender-affirming protocols, involving puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and so-called sexreassignment surgeries. The lack of peer reviewed research to support such protocols; the well documented list of adverse side effects associated with these protocols; the many scientific studies which tell us that dysphoric distress including mental anguish and self-harming ideation is so often not resolved by these medical interventions; the additional scientific studies which report that gender dysphoria generally resolves itself by the late teens for 80% or more of Early Onset patients under a protocol of watchful waiting; and the growing number of young adults who have chosen to detransition, even after their health has been compromised and their reproductive systems have been left sterile by medical interventions; all of these factors urge caution in the rush to transition the gender of children with medical experimentation. Such practices have been said to '(bind) children to traditional gender stereotypes, and (to) medically (harm) them through life-changing irreversible procedures'.

    as well as this new plank:

    11. The Georgia Green Party here endorses the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, as developed and publicized by the Womens Human Rights Campaign, and encourage our members, our national party, policy makers and the general public to do the same. We will regulate access to gender-affirming therapies to protect Georgia children from medical experimentation, prosecuting ethical violations involved with subjecting children incapable of fully informed consent to such life-changing and irreversible procedures. We will protect womens and girls from unfair competition in sports by male bodied athletes. We will protect girls and women in the enjoyment of female-only facilities, programs, or services, particularly in places where women have a need to be in a state of undress, or where their privacy may be compromised or their safety may be at risk from male-pattern violence.

    The original resolution is available as a pdf here.  


  • GaGP Adopts Platform Amendment HR4 to Endorse the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act

    At the February 22nd, 2020 Bonaire Nominating Convention of the Georgia Green Party, delegates were also agreed to further amend the state party platform to endorse amendments to the Equality Act intended to to extend civil rights protections for gender nonconforming individuals in ways which would continue the existing sex-based rights of women.  Adoption of HR-4 now puts the Georgia state party on record stating in the preamble to its Platform's chapter on Human Rights:

    Efforts by advocates for the rights of trans-identified individuals have campaigned for the inclusion of 'gender-identity' as a protected class under existing civil rights law. Feminist organizers around the world have identified such policy demands as in conflict with the existing sex-based rights of women and have called for opposition to gender-identity protections which fail to account for the concerns of women. Elevating gender-identity on a par with sex as a protected class pits the established sex-rights of women against the demands for inclusion and protection by trans-identified persons. However, a prohibition of discrimination based on 'sex stereotypes' provides many important protections for trans-identified individuals without placing at risk the sex-based rights of women.

    The Georgia Party added the following new plank to their Platform's chapter on Human Rights:

    #. The Georgia Green Party endorses passage of the Equality Act (HR-5 / SB-788, in the 116th Congress) as amended by the Feminist Amendment developed by intended to protect the sex-based rights of women while adding to existing Civil Rights statutes related to employment, housing, credit and jury service, two new protected classes to protect people from discrimination based on 'sexual orientation' and 'sex stereotyping'. We further support the adoption of similar state level reforms.

  • The Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights

    Declaration on Women's Sex-based Rights

    Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights
    Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights

    On the re-affirmation of women’s sex-based rights, including women’s rights to physical and reproductive integrity, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls that result from the replacement of the category of sex with that of ‘gender identity’, and from ‘surrogate’ motherhood and related practices.


    This Declaration reaffirms the sex-based rights of women which are set out in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979 (CEDAW), further developed in the CEDAW Committee General Recommendations, and adopted, inter alia, in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 1993 (UNDEVW).

    Article 1 of the CEDAW defines discrimination against women to mean, “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.’’

    Sex is defined by the United Nations as “the physical and biological characteristics that distinguish males from females.’’ (Gender Equality Glossary, UN Women)

    The CEDAW places obligations on States Parties to ‘‘take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women.’’ (Article 2 (f)); and to take, in all fields, “appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.’’ (Article 3).

    It has long been understood in the area of human rights that the stereotyped sex roles of men and women are a fundamental aspect of women’s inequality and must be eliminated.

  • Convention for the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women

    "...the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and the cause of peace require the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields "

    Full text of the Convention in English
    CEDAW in pdf format


    On 18 December 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It entered into force as an international treaty on 3 September 1981 after the twentieth country had ratified it. By the tenth anniversary of the Convention in 1989, almost one hundred nations have agreed to be bound by its provisions.

    The Convention was the culmination of more than thirty years of work by the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a body established in 1946 to monitor the situation of women and to promote women's rights. The Commission's work has been instrumental in bringing to light all the areas in which women are denied equality with men. These efforts for the advancement of women have resulted in several declarations and conventions, of which the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is the central and most comprehensive document.

    Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
    Convention for the Elimination
    of all Forms of Discrimination against Women

    Among the international human rights treaties, the Convention takes an important place in bringing the female half of humanity into the focus of human rights concerns. The spirit of the Convention is rooted in the goals of the United Nations: to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity,v and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women. The present document spells out the meaning of equality and how it can be achieved. In so doing, the Convention establishes not only an international bill of rights for women, but also an agenda for action by countries to guarantee the enjoyment of those rights.

    In its preamble, the Convention explicitly acknowledges that "extensive discrimination against women continues to exist", and emphasizes that such discrimination "violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for human dignity". As defined in article 1, discrimination is understood as "any distinction, exclusion or restriction made o.1 the basis of the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field". The Convention gives positive affirmation to the principle of equality by requiring States parties to take "all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men"(article 3).

    The agenda for equality is specified in fourteen subsequent articles. In its approach, the Convention covers three dimensions of the situation of women. Civil rights and the legal status of women are dealt with in great detail. In addition, and unlike other human rights treaties, the Convention is also concerned with the dimension of human reproduction as well as with the impact of cultural factors on gender relations.

    The legal status of women receives the broadest attention. Concern over the basic rights of political participation has not diminished since the adoption of the Convention on the Political Rights of Women in 1952. Its provisions, therefore, are restated in article 7 of the present document, whereby women are guaranteed the rights to vote, to hold public office and to exercise public functions. This includes equal rights for women to represent their countries at the international level (article 8). The Convention on the Nationality of Married Women - adopted in 1957 - is integrated under article 9 providing for the statehood of women, irrespective of their marital status. The Convention, thereby, draws attention to the fact that often women's legal status has been linked to marriage, making them dependent on their husband's nationality rather than individuals in their own right. Articles 10, 11 and 13, respectively, affirm women's rights to non-discrimination in education, employment and economic and social activities. These demands are given special emphasis with regard to the situation of rural women, whose particular struggles and vital economic contributions, as noted in article 14, warrant more attention in policy planning. Article 15 asserts the full equality of women in civil and business matters, demanding that all instruments directed at restricting women's legal capacity ''shall be deemed null and void". Finally, in article 16, the Convention returns to the issue of marriage and family relations, asserting the equal rights and obligations of women and men with regard to choice of spouse, parenthood, personal rights and command over property.

    Aside from civil rights issues, the Convention also devotes major attention to a most vital concern of women, namely their reproductive rights. The preamble sets the tone by stating that "the role of women in procreation should not be a basis for discrimination". The link between discrimination and women's reproductive role is a matter of recurrent concern in the Convention. For example, it advocates, in article 5, ''a proper understanding of maternity as a social function", demanding fully shared responsibility for child-rearing by both sexes. Accordingly, provisions for maternity protection and child-care are proclaimed as essential rights and are incorporated into all areas of the Convention, whether dealing with employment, family law, health core or education. Society's obligation extends to offering social services, especially child-care facilities, that allow individuals to combine family responsibilities with work and participation in public life. Special measures for maternity protection are recommended and "shall not be considered discriminatory". (article 4). "The Convention also affirms women's right to reproductive choice. Notably, it is the only human rights treaty to mention family planning. States parties are obliged to include advice on family planning in the education process (article l O.h) and to develop family codes that guarantee women's rights "to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to hove access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights" (article 16.e).

    The third general thrust of the Convention aims at enlarging our understanding of the concept of human rights, as it gives formal recognition to the influence of culture and tradition on restricting women's enjoyment of their fundamental rights. These forces take shape in stereotypes, customs and norms which give rise to the multitude of legal, political and economic constraints on the advancement of women. Noting this interrelationship, the preamble of the Convention stresses "that a change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family is needed to achieve full equality of men and women". States parties are therefore obliged to work towards the modification of social and cultural patterns of individual conduct in order to eliminate "prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women" (article 5). And Article 1O.c. mandates the revision of textbooks, school programmes and teaching methods with a view to eliminating stereotyped concepts in the field of education. Finally, cultural patterns which define the public realm as a man's world and the domestic sphere as women's domain are strongly targeted in all of the Convention's provisions that affirm the equal responsibilities of both sexes in family life and their equal rights with regard to education and employment. Altogether, the Convention provides a comprehensive framework for challenging the various forces that have created and sustained discrimination based upon sex.

    The implementation of the Convention is monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The Committee's mandate and the administration of the treaty are defined in the Articles 17 to 30 of the Convention. The Committee is composed of 23 experts nominated by their Governments and elected by the States parties as individuals "of high moral standing and competence in the field covered by the Convention".

    At least every four years, the States parties are expected to submit a national report to the Committee, indicating the measures they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention. During its annual session, the Committee members discuss these reports with the Government representatives and explore with them areas for further action by the specific country. The Committee also makes general recommendations to the States parties on matters concerning the elimination of discrimination against women.

    The full text of the Convention is set out herein