June marks the start
of LGBTQ+ Pride Month
June marks the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride Month isn’t just a time of glitter and rainbows. It is, in fact, a time to reflect upon the radical spark that set forth to the modern day queer rights movement.
On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall Riots erupted out of the indignation with the abuse and hardships queer folk faced on a daily basis. Police brutality, sexual violence, community rejection, homelessness, and poverty were among these issues. Gay rights pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were among the first to speak up and take action. Pride Month is also a time to celebrate other achievements, such as when black gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 or when the Green Party of the United States recognized LGBTQI equality in 2000.
Many of those same issues that plagued the queer community in 1960’s persist to this day. Only two US states (California and Illinois) have outlawed the gay panic defense, which basically allows a bigot to claim temporary insanity when beating or killing an LGBT+ person. Some states, like Texas or North Carolina, have gone the extra mile to oppress LGBT+ folk by restricting access to bathrooms and adopting children. This is a load of malarkey. In addition to this, less than half of US States offer protections from discrimination in housing, employment, and from other hate crimes. Sadly, Pennsylvania is not one of the states that offer protections for its LGBT+ citizens. However over 40+ cities, within our state, have passed local ordinances. This includes 5 in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Scranton, Pittston, Dickson City, Wilkes-Barre, and Stroudsburg). I do not believe this is enough though. We need statewide protections and we need it now. Doing so will show it's citizens and the rest of the United States that Pennsylvania stands for basic human dignity.
The lack of legal protections also allows for homophobia and transphobia to go unchecked. This, in turn, puts queer folk, especially LGBTQ+ youth, at higher risk of developing depression, attempting suicide, and becoming homeless.
To put this in perspective, 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ have attempted or thought about taking their own life. This is a very serious issue that does not get talked about, largely in part due to the stigmas around mental health. Trying to curb these matters, are non-profits such as The Trevor Project. This organization works around the clock on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. The Trevor Project has a 24/7 crisis hotline at “1-866-488-7386”.
In keeping with the Green Key Values of diversity, social justice and feminism, we support full legal and political equality for all persons, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, characteristics, and expression. You can read more on the Green Platform at www.gp.org/social_justice_2016
About the author:
Tim Maloney is a queer activist based out of the Wyoming Valley with a blog at maloneyofnepa.com
My name is Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick and I am happy to be endorsed by the Green Party of PA as a candidate for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.
I was born in Philadelphia and attended public schools first in North Philadelphia and then later in Media, PA where I also lived. I took classes at Yale University and CCP before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University. While attending college I worked at several different jobs and got married. My husband and I moved from an apartment in Media to our own house and home in Chester, PA in 1989. A few years later I graduated, and I spent the next 24 years working as a laboratory technician at a medical research facility & biorepository in New Jersey. I left this position when I was laid off, and I found that it was very hard to find employment again (possibly because I was over 50) especially in a full-time position. I have spent a lot of time volunteering, gardening and teaching English as a second language to adult students with my extra free time. I am currently working part-time as a pharmacy technician. Many years ago my husband and I became the parents of my late brother’s youngest son and eventually home schooled him so he could get a better education than he was receiving in Chester’s public schools. He now has his Ph. D. in biology and is doing AIDS research in Portland, Oregon.
I am both an active member of my county level Green Party by serving as the chair of the Green Party of Delaware County PA and the state level Green Party by serving as an At-Large Delegate on the steering committee of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA). I am enthusiastic about being a Green Party member because I am neither suicidal nor homicidal and the goals and values of the Green Party make it the most life-affirming political party I know of on the planet. Our Green Party is not only one of the best tools or strategies for improving the peace of mind, health and safety for ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of the human race, but also for maintaining the beauty and diversity of the land, the seas and all other living species.
The Green Party’s Ten Key Values which are succinctly expressed by its four pillars which advocate for grassroots democracy, social justice, peace and ecological wisdom equate to putting the welfare of people and the planet always above the quest for financial gain. I feel that working with other people who have the same goals on issues and are interested in electing people who are committed to the same values that the Green Party is dedicated to is much more effective than trying to do the same work by myself or within either major political party which lets the money and ideas of the rich and powerful dictate its values and goals. Therefore, both major parties are ineffective at reducing widespread poverty and oppression and too often support policies and spend our tax dollars with little or no consideration toward eliminating these large and persistent problems.
The attitudes of Greens and the policies and changes in society for which we work such as excellent universal healthcare for all in the U.S., improvements to K-12 public education, tuition-free college education, cutting the U.S. military budget by more than half, ending U.S. funding of and involvement in violent conflicts around the world, ending fossil fuel extraction and use, and making our economy 100% reliant on clean and renewable energy sources benefit the physical, mental and emotional health of people within the United States and around the world.
As a Green Party member and the GPPA’s 2018 candidate for Lt. Governor of PA I feel obligated to those who put their trust, support or money into Green Party projects and candidates to make the following statement a permanent truth about the Green Party: Defenders of workers’ rights on and off the job, environmental activists, those working to make high quality healthcare obtainable by all, social justice advocates, anti-war/peace activists, reformers of our criminal justice system, and protectors and expanders of civil liberties, human rights, political expression, and economic justice for all and especially historically marginalized groups—You can all find a nurturing home in the U.S. Green Parties where people are fighting through electoral politics and activism to make the solutions you want a part of our everyday reality. The commitment to make society more compassionate and just through a greater expression of the Green Party’s Ten Key Values in all aspects of our daily lives is what makes the Green Party such a uniquely superior political party.
To volunteer now, contact Green Wave in our efforts to secure ballot access.
Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program Is Up & Running
Megan L. McElhinney, CPhT
February 26, 2018
On April 17, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed SB3, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana (PAMMJ) Program, into law. 669 days later the first Medical Marijuana dispensaries opened. CY+ in Butler, Pa (Butler County) and Solevo Wellness Center in Squirrel Hill, Pa (Allegheny County) opened their doors on February 15th to patients that have received their medical cards. Two days later TerraVida in Sellersville, Pa (Bucks County) and Keystone Shops in Devon, Pa (Chester County) followed. Over the next few months more dispensaries will begin to open as the Health Department gives them the go ahead. Restore Integrative Wellness Center, is slated to be the first dispensary to open in the city of Philadelphia come mid April.
Currently, there is one medical marijuana cultivation center providing medicine to the 6 open dispensaries throughout the state. Dispensaries will only be able to offer patients their medicine in the following forms: Pills, Oils, Topical, such as, gels, creams and ointments. Also, tincture, which is a sublingual liquid you put under your tongue, and other forms of liquid medicine. Finally, vaporization of oils and nebulization will be the only way a patient can inhale their medicine. Smoking flower, or bud, is prohibited under state law.
Over 17,000 patients and caregivers have registered with the Department of Health and 4,000 have been certified by a registered physician. Among those 4,000 patients more than 400 have received their medical cards. To be eligible for the PAMMJ Program you must meet the 17 serious medical conditions outlined by the state. Physicians are required to take a four hour course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if they want to certify a patient for the PAMMJ Program. You can find more about the PAMMJ Program at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's website.
For more information on the Green Party of Pennsylvania's position on cannabis, click here.
Care about decriminalization, democracy, peace, the environment and social justice?Read more
Have you attempted to change your voter registration within the last year?
Have you clearly registered as a specific party, but received the incorrect Party designation returned on your Voter ID?
There is a reasonable suspicion there is a current Statewide problem in Pennsylvania.
The current online voter registration system seems to be causing errors in the registrations of some voters registering around the state.
We have been made aware by several concerned citizens from Pennsylvania who have been returned incorrect and inconsistent voter registration from their initial request.
At first, I thought it would be fixed shortly, but after some asking around - there seems to be no one individual or department working on this resolution.
As of the 2016 election - the Green Party of Pennsylvania gained minor Party status - granting us acknowledgement as a recognized minor political party in Pennsylvania.
We (as well as the Libertarian Party) should be listed as a recognized Party option on the online Voter Registration Portal.
These voter issues, combined with possible troublesome redistricting legislation that may be moving forward, are concerning for third parties.
We need to be attentive and forward thinking about this issue, and many others and their long term damage and undue burden on our State Party that has been looked at as an "oversight" or "mistake" by our State.
The Green Party is seeking a Photographer volunteer to work in coordination with designated contacts within the GPUS Merchandise Committee
.pdf available here
The Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green parties united in the common good of grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom.
The Green Party is seeking a Photographer Volunteer to work in coordination with designated contacts within the GPUS Merchandise Committee.
Production of quality, publishable photography of Green Party merchandise for various purposes using diverse models when necessary.
Photos will be utilized in a wide variety of projects and will be shared widely. Photos and final product may / will be branded with the Green Party logo. If you choose, your photos and work will be credited to you.
This photography work will be used in whole, or in part by utilization into projects consisting of, but not limited to:Read more