About - Green Party Rejects Sex Work Decriminalization; "Nordic Model" to Remain in Platform

July 2, 2018
Illinois Green Party

Green Party Rejects Sex Work Decriminalization Platform Plank; Doubles Down on "Nordic Model"

Proposal authored by Green Party sex workers fails to pass: "That's it for me" says one.

USA – At the close of voting on Sunday, a proposal to change the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) platform position on voluntary sex work to a decriminalization stance failed to pass. The party will retain its current platform language, which conflates voluntary sex work with human trafficking and calls for the "Nordic model" of criminalization. 

Although a majority of delegates on the 160-member National Committee supported the move to a decriminalization stance, the 73-66 vote fell short of the 2/3 threshold, with 6 delegates casting an "abstain" vote and 15 non-voting delegates. 

Sex worker members who helped draft the proposal reacted with disappointment, and with rejection of the party: "That's pretty much it for me," said a Chicago-based sex worker and Green Party member who wished to be identified only as T. "The Nordic model means my life right now is illegal. If that's the Green Party position on what my life should be, I don't want to be a Green." 

The Nordic model has been criticized by sex workers, researchers, and health officials for increasing the risks of sex work and for treating mutual aid and support between sex workers (such as sharing room costs or client lists) as "pimping." 

Decriminalization is widely recommended as a policy position on sex work by health and human rights groups that have studied the issue, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, Anti-Slavery International and the Trafficking Policy Research Project, and by health organizations such as UNAIDS and the World Health Organization. Green Parties and elected Greens in other countries, including Brazil, Germany, France, Austria, Ukraine, Canada, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, support decriminalization as well

Discussion on the GPUS National Committee (which does all official business via a roughly 350-member email listserv open to delegates and their appointed alternates) was dominated by a handful of "no" voices. More than a quarter of all messages related to the proposal during the mandatory four-week discussion period (roughly 150 posts and over 50 new email threads above and beyond the official discussion thread) came from three members opposed to the proposal, all white men with no experience in the sex industry.

The Illinois Green Party was one of five states co-sponsoring the measure, along with the party's Youth and LGBTQ+ caucuses.

The Green Party's decision means that the Libertarian Party will remain the only major United States political party to support sex work decriminalization (neither the Democrat nor Republican Party platforms address the issue). 

The full roll call of the vote follows. For further information, contact the Illinois Green Party Secretary at secretary@ilgp.org or 773-809-4547.

Delegation Vote Delegate
Black Caucus Abstain James Lane
Louisiana Abstain Morgan Moss Jr
Massachusetts Abstain Joanna Herlihy
Missouri Abstain Ron Burch
Washington Abstain Jody Grage
West Virginia Abstain Frank Young
Arizona No Claudia Ellquist
Arkansas No Robin Rumph
Black Caucus No Joy Davis
California No Josefina Aranda
California No Marla Bernstein
California No Susan Chunco
California No Sanda Everette
California No Mike Feinstein
California No Richard Gomez
California No Lisa Hsu
California No Tarik Kanaana
California No Peggy Koteen
California No Genevieve Marcus
California No Bob Marsh
California No Cordula Ohman
California No Linda Piera-Avila
California No Luci Riley
California No Cynthia Santiago
California No Phoebe Anne Sorgen
Connecticut No Owen Charles
Delaware No Bernie August
Delaware No David McCorquodale
District of Columbia No Jenefer Ellingston
Florida No Henry Lawrence III
Georgia No Qadija Tatum-Aamir
Hawaii No Budd Dickinson
Hawaii No N. Nikhilananda
Indiana No Monica James
Iowa No Florence Boos
Iowa No Holly Hart
Kansas No Nick Blessing
Kansas No Paul Krumm
Latinx Caucus No Tony Affigne
Latinx Caucus No Darlene Elias
Louisiana No Anika Ofori
Maine No Jacqui Deveneau
Maine No George Hamilton
Maine No John Rensenbrink
Maryland No Tim Willard
Michigan No Linda Cree
Michigan No John Early
Michigan No LuAnne Kozma
Michigan No Jennifer La Pietra
Michigan No Jessica McCallie-Arquette
Minnesota No Barb Huning
Minnesota No Deanna Murphy
Mississippi No Nekita Gandy
Mississippi No Jan Hillegas
Montana No Cheryl Wolfe
Nebraska No Charles Ostdiek
New Jersey No Craig Cayetano
New Jersey No Kim Meudt
New Mexico No Stephen Verchinski
New York No Gil Obler
Ohio No Philena Farley
Ohio No Logan Martinez
Oregon No Suzia Aufderheide
Rhode Island No Nick Schmader
Tennessee No Elizabeth Dachowski
Tennessee No Howard Switzer
Texas No Wesson Gaige
Texas No Laura Palmer
Utah No Dee Taylor
Washington No Kathryn Lewandowsky
Wisconsin No Bruce Hinkforth
Women's Caucus No Ann Link
Alabama Yes Tyler Henderson
Alabama Yes Rebecca Saxon
Arizona Yes Angel Torres
Arkansas Yes Ryan Giglio
California Yes Rodolfo Cortes Barragan
California Yes Jose Trinidad Castaneda
California Yes Darryl Cherney
California Yes David Cobb
California Yes Angelica Duenas
California Yes Meleiza Figueroa
California Yes Jared Laiti
California Yes Erik Rydberg
California Yes Jesse Townley
Colorado Yes Vronique Bellamy
Colorado Yes Stephen Molyneux
Connecticut Yes S. Michael DeRosa
Connecticut Yes Joshua Kelly
District of Columbia Yes Justin McCarthy
Florida Yes Robin Harris
Florida Yes Elijah Manley
Georgia Yes Preston Thacker
Illinois Yes David Black
Illinois Yes Chris Blankenhorn
Illinois Yes Geoffrey Cubbage
Illinois Yes Aaron Goldberg
Illinois Yes Gini Lester
Illinois Yes Mary Jane Oviatt
Illinois Yes AJ Reed
Illinois Yes Sheldon Schafer
Illinois Yes Holly Scholz
Kentucky Yes Kris Smoot
Kentucky Yes Andi Wojciechowski
Lavender Caucus Yes Mish Chavez
Lavender Caucus Yes Margaret Elisabeth
Maine Yes Lyn Maravell
Maryland Yes Margaret Flowers
Massachusetts Yes John Andrews
Massachusetts Yes David Gerry
Massachusetts Yes Juan Sanchez
Michigan Yes Mike Zubas
Minnesota Yes Andy Schuler
Missouri Yes Alison Baldree
Nebraska Yes Shane Fry
Nevada Yes Teresa Frene
New York Yes John Baldwin
New York Yes Dani Liebling
New York Yes Gloria Mattera
New York Yes Michael O'Neil
New York Yes Craig Seeman
New York Yes Anya Szykitka
North Carolina Yes Tommie James
North Carolina Yes Michael Trudeau
Ohio Yes Kevin Fay
Oregon Yes Paul Loney
Oregon Yes T. Oliver
Pennsylvania Yes Christian Banchs
Pennsylvania Yes Stuart Chen-Hayes
Pennsylvania Yes Kristin Combs
Pennsylvania Yes Beth Scroggin
Rhode Island Yes Justin Lee Rossi
South Carolina Yes Bill Kreml
South Carolina Yes Jessica Lazenby
South Carolina Yes David Whiteman
Texas Yes Alison Bittick
Texas Yes Adrian Boutureira
Texas Yes Herb Gonzales
Texas Yes Aaron Renaud
Utah Yes Brendan Phillips
Virginia Yes Montigue Magruder
Virginia Yes Tina Rockett
Women's Caucus Yes Jennifer Sullivan
Youth Caucus Yes Zack Looney
Youth Caucus Yes Natalia Schuurman


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