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On LGBT Standards and Beyond, DNC Platform Stands in Opposition to TPP Trade Deal

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2016

Contact: Jerame Davis at jdavis@prideatwork.org  

On LGBT Standards and Beyond, DNC Platform Stands in Opposition to TPP Trade Deal 

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Jerame Davis, Executive Director of Pride at Work reacting to the Democratic Party platform adopted this past weekend and assessing why it stands in strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal:

“The DNC platform makes it clear that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal fails to meet the standards and vision outlined and championed by the Democratic Party, including upholding the dignity and respect of LGBT individuals across the world.

While the platform language could have included more overt language condemning the TPP, the broader language included in the platform covers all trade deals, which may be more lasting than any single agreement. And the platform’s trade plank establishes several specific standards which the TPP fails to meet, including language that explicitly rejects any trade deal that includes the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision – one of the defining features of the TPP.

But the platform’s rejection of the TPP is not limited to just the trade plank. The adopted language in the platform states that ‘LGBT rights are human rights and that American foreign policy should advance the ability of all persons to live with dignity, security, and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love,’ while noting that we, ‘will continue to stand with LGBT people around the world, including combating efforts by any nation to infringe on LGBT rights or ignore abuse protecting LGBT rights through our foreign policy.’

It is impossible to reconcile support for these pro-LGBT ideals with support for the TPP. The inclusion of Brunei and Malaysia in the TPP – two countries where being LGBT is criminalized – are in direct conflict with the ideals laid out in this global LGBT rights plank. And, despite assurances to the contrary, nothing in the main text of the TPP nor in the unenforceable side agreements between individual countries instills confidence that the trade pact would encourage real reform and progress in these countries.

We believe it will be hard for any member of the Democratic Party to stand behind TPP as it is currently written once this platform is formally adopted in Philadelphia in less than two weeks. As Hillary Clinton said in her speech today in New Hampshire, ‘We’re going to say no to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.’”

Below is the new DNC platform language on LGBT rights:

“Democrats believe that LGBT rights are human rights and that American foreign policy should advance the ability of all persons to live with dignity, security, and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love. We applaud President Obama’s foundational Memorandum to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons Globally, which combats criminalization, protects refugees, provides foreign assistance, responds quickly to abuses, and engages international organizations on these rights. We will continue to stand with LGBT people around the world, including combating efforts by any nation to infringe on LGBT rights or ignore abuse.”

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Pride At Work organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community for social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Learn more at www.prideatwork.org

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