Monday, October 24, 2005

Gay Democrats create African-American Caucus

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According to an article on, Stonewall Democrats, the national group for LGBT Democrats, established teh Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus last week in order to reach out and recognize the needs of the African-American community. The goal of the new caucus will be to increase the participation of Black LGBT Democrats within the party and to shape public policy impacting the Black LGBT community. According to the article:
"The Republican Party is using social scare tactics to exploit the Black community at the expense of Black LGBT Americans," said Jasmyne Cannick, the newly installed Co-Chair of the Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus. "The Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus will help refocus political discussion on real issues impacting the Black community while pressing the Democratic Party and LGBT community to address specific concerns of Black LGBT Americans." Cannick, of Los Angeles, is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She was recently named by Essence magazine as 'One of 25 Women Changing the World'. She also is a board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, the national Black gay civil rights group. The Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus will be co-chaired by Ramone Gardenhire of Washington, DC. Gardenhire served as Deputy Director of GLBT Outreach for the Democratic National Committee for the 2004 election and currently serves on the Board of Directors for DC Black Pride. He said that the caucus will focus on five key areas.It will promote legislation with a specific focus on Black LGBT communities, increase the number of active Black LGBT Democrats within Stonewall and its chapters, provide National Stonewall Democrats with information on legislative issues as they relate to Black communities, provide political influence with Black elected officials on behalf of Stonewall members and foster relationships between the Black LGBT community and Black civil rights organizations.
====== In my opinion, it is not the bisexual community or the transgender community which are the most overlooked within the Gay Rights Movement... it is instead the Black LGBT community. African-Americans who are LGBT are more than often overlooked and many feel as though organizations such as the Stonewall Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign are for wealthy, white, gay males. It is about time that a national LGBT political organization took the time to recognize the needs of the Black LGBT community. LGBT African-Americans have a lot to bring to the table... fromt their experiences of being black in a racist society to their experiences of being LGBT in homophobic society. Good going, Stonewall Dems!