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:

“While we acknowledge the apparently bruised feelings of your caucus’ leadership, we fail to understand how we are responsible for that. We do understand that framing this conflict as interpersonal is counter­ productive to the work we have to do as a political party. The resolution of this conflict must engage a party­wide conversation on the underlying issues. No invitation ­only reconciliation retreat will do the trick.”

. . .

“We welcome an opportunity to participate in dialogue on the issues raised by the Platform amendment which has been the subject of this recent controversy. But we would prefer to do so with people who have actually read the language we have adopted, and the document we have endorsed, not just the hyperbole and derogatory misinformation being spread about it. We insist on a fair and across the board application of the rules. We insist that we not be compelled to speak in a vocabulary which fails to convey our understanding of how the world works. When our position is mis­characterized, we will continue to insist on an opportunity to correct the record, and to use the language we feel is necessary to do so accurately.  We seek an equitable enforcement of the rules around name calling, that we not be referred to as bigots, hateful, nazis, terfs, cis, transphobic, etc. And we insist that the threats of physical violence and doxing cease immediately; that those responsible for such breaches of decorum be prohibited from engaging in our party’s forums.”

“We are eager to address concerns with the document we have adopted.  But such concerns must be explicitly stated. In fact, we invite you to prepare a written critique of the Declaration to which we might respond. Being called hateful bigots or transphobes provides us not a single clue about the substance of the name­-caller’s concerns.”

. . .

“Neither our state party, nor its officers hold any animosity for members of the Lavender Caucus. We do strenuously object to the anti­-democratic behavior encouraged by and engaged in by members of your caucus leadership. But we do not see the need for a ‘reconciliation retreat’, as you framed it in your phone conversation with our state party secretary, or outlined it in your letter.”

 

To read the full text of the Georgia Party’s response, see this link:
http://georgiagreenparty.org/reply_to_dario_hunter_invitation-final_signed/

To read the one page platform amendment, the adoption of which sparked this controversy, see:

http://georgiagreenparty.org/georgia-green-party-2020-nominating-convention-february-22nd-bonaire-georgia/hr3_endorse_dwsbr/

For a copy of a related document adopted by the state committee in December of 2019, see:

Declaration_on_Sex_Based_Rights_of_Women-provide_for_party_endorsement-as_passed

To read the full text of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, see:
https://www.womensdeclaration.com/
https://www.womensdeclaration.com/documents/7/Declaration-with-logo.pdf