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August 25, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 34
 
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New DNC rules require LGBT inclusion in state representation at Democratic convention
New DNC rules require LGBT inclusion in state representation at Democratic convention
"These rules begin the process of correcting historic under-representation of LGBT Americans in party affairs," said Jo Wyrick, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats applauded the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for adopting delegate selection rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention that seeks to correct historical under-representation by LGBT Americans at past conventions. Under the new rules approved this Saturday at the annual DNC summer meeting held in Chicago, state Democratic parties will be required to increase the participation of LGBT Americans within their delegations.

"Stonewall applauds the DNC for adopting delegate selection rules that require all state parties to build lasting partnerships with LGBT Democrats," said Jo Wyrick, NSD Executive Director. "These rules begin the process of correcting historic under-representation of LGBT Americans in party affairs. We expect state parties to use these rules to establish goals that accurately reflect LGBT Americans within their delegations, and we expect the DNC to reject any proposed state party plan that does not meet this threshold."

The Democratic National Committee approves a series of rules every four years that guide state parties in drafting and implementing delegate selection plans for the Democratic National Convention. Although rules adopted for past conventions encouraged state parties to outreach to LGBT Americans within their delegate selection plans, the draft adopted on Saturday goes further by requiring presidential campaigns and state parties to take remedial action to correct past under-representation from the LGBT community.

"Although these new rules will ultimately increase the number of LGBT Delegates in 2008, the rule has broader significance," said Wyrick. "These rules will move state parties into deeper partnerships with LGBT Democrats that will last well beyond the 2008 convention. Although a majority of state parties are already partnering with our community, parties who have been reluctant to engage our community will now be required to do so. These partnerships will ultimately increase the voice of LGBT Democrats within important policy discussions and party affairs."

National Stonewall Democrats has already begun working with state Democratic parties to implement the new rules approved by the DNC on Saturday. Over the next two years, NSD has committed to assist and train state parties as they draft and achieve delegate selection goals that accurately reflect LGBT Americans. Additionally, NSD will also be conducting a series of training programs in 2007 that will equip LGBT Democrats with the resources needed to participate in the delegate selection process and in presidential campaigns.

National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.



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