Statement in Support of the Boycott of the 2012 APSA Annual Meeting in New Orleans

by the APSA Committee on the Status of

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and the Transgendered in the Profession

Before the June 2008 APSA Council meeting, the LGBT Status Committee called upon the APSA to support the principle that the Association not hold conferences in any state that, by law, acts to severely restrict the human rights of any group of its members. Since that time, we have continued to express to the APSA Council and executive our concerns with inequalities perpetuated by the new siting policy. We also have growing concerns about the potential difficulties in administering the new siting policy. We continue to have a strong commitment to constructive dialogue and engagement based on mutual respect with the APSA Council and executive.

However, we believe that this process has brought to light a lack of knowledge and understanding among some APSA colleagues regarding basic principles of equality and non-discrimination which raise our concerns about the current and future status of LGBT members of the profession. The majority of the LGBT Status Committee believes that, in supporting the boycott petition, we are signifying this concern publicly.

Because we endeavor to represent all of our constituents, we acknowledge that some of our constituents and committee members share reservations about the boycott and that some may attend APSA’s New Orleans conference in 2012 for their own professional reasons, including, for example, career progression.

We believe that the APSA leadership must recognize that the boycott is an expression of serious concern about issues that have a deep personal and professional impact on LGBT members. To that end, we will work with them to attempt to avoid harm caused to the LGBT Political Science Caucus, the Sexuality & Politics Section, and the LGBT Status Committee by the decision to move forward with the New Orleans siting in 2012.

We would ask that members of the APSA educate themselves widely about the issues involved. We expect to be actively engaged with APSA leadership in the process of providing information to APSA members in the years leading up to 2012, including future siting decisions.