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Photo: LGBTIQ Greens

The prioritisation ballot for Green Party Spring Conference opened recently – and with it the chance to vote for causes that you think are important so that the wider party can discuss supporting them.

Voting in the ballot is extremely important for many reasons, the strongest being that not all points are discussed. While the prioritisation ballot may dictate the order in which motions are debated, the sheer amount of time needed to debate them all means that those that rank the lowest are rarely addressed.

The purpose of the ballot is for only the most important motions to reach the floor. However, even democracy has its flaws.

At Autumn conference, a policy proposed called “Intersex Human Rights Protections” did not reach the floor as it was not high enough in the prioritisation ballot. Although being an extremely important motion aimed at protecting the rights of children who are subject to unnecessary surgery before they are old enough to consent, it was not deemed important enough to be discussed. It’s not hard to see why intersex rights are low priority to many people – only approximately 1 in 2000 people are intersex, so motions like this would not have made a difference to the vast majority of people voting. But for the intersex people this does affect, the motion was crucial and needed to be passed. Sometimes the most important motions are not the ones that affect the most people.

While prioritisation ballot may be the fairest way of ordering motions, it is also down to the people voting to ensure that when they vote for the common good they recognise that equality means uplifting the minority, not the majority.

The LGBTIQ Greens don’t want important motions like “Intersex Human Rights Protections” to be overlooked again. This is why we have created the #LGBTIQLovebomb campaign; a collection of motions that we ask you to rank highly in the ballot to ensure that motions affecting LGBTIQA people are heard on the floor. All of the motions are about love – from equality for safe sex couples (C13) and making love safer (C15) to encouraging LGBTIQ people to love themselves by not shaming human bodies and sexuality with LGBT+ cures (C7) and corrective surgery (C9).

The #LGBTIQLovebomb motions are as follows:

Cβ4. Motion to support reviewing current Gender Recognition legislation

The UK’s legislation is severely outdated and really needs to be updated. Non-binary people and trans youth have no legal recognition and intersex people have no provision to alter their birth certificates after they have been assigned a sex they feel is incorrect. The laws surrounding trans people are particularly oppressive; before a person is legally recognised as trans they must conform to gender roles (which are an issue in themselves) and may have their gender vetoed by a spouse. As Amelia Womack has said, “Trans women are women, and trans men are men”. Gender is not up for discussion, and it can only be determined by the individual.

Cβ6. Extending the HPV Vaccination

Currently in the UK, young women aged around thirteen are vaccinated to help prevent the various cancers associated with HPV. However, leaving men unprotected means men who have sex with men are disproportionately affected by such cancers.

Cβ7. Intersex Human Rights Protections

The aforementioned Intersex motion seeks to protect the most basic rights of intersex people, including body autonomy. Currently, countless intersex people are living with the effects of unnecessary and irreversible surgeries. A foetus being intersex is still considered grounds for abortion. Intersex people are not protected under Equality laws. At this point, the provision needed to ensure the rights of equality people should not be considered a matter of opinion – it is a necessity.

Cβ9. In opposition to LGBT+ “cures”

LGBT+ youth continue to undergo conversion therapy that can be psychologically damaging and has no proven success. Sexual orientation and gender is natural; no amount of conditioning can change it and to treat it like an illness only furthers the stigma.

Cβ13. Equal pensions for same-sex couples

Private pension companies are legally allowed, through a legislative loophole, to pay the surviving partner of a relationship a smaller amount than a person in a heterosexual relationship. This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs and needs to be combated immediately.

Cβ15. Sexual Health Provision and HIV Prevention

HIV Aware have determined that 1 in 20 gay and bisexual men in the UK have HIV, and 17% of these cases remain undiagnosed. HIV is a very real problem in the UK that again disproportionately affects men who have sex with men, and yet it could be significantly impacted – amongst countless other sexual health issues – by improving education and access to sexual health services under the NHS.

If you are a Green Party member you can read the content of the motions here:

https://my.greenparty.org.uk/sites/my.greenparty.org.uk/files/First%20Agenda%20Spring%202016.pdf

And you can vote in the prioritisation ballot here, before 25 January:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2507987/Spring-Conference-2016-Prioritisation-Ballot

The best way that anybody can support the LGBTIQ Lovebomb campaign is of course to rank the motions highly on the prioritisation ballot! However, if you want to do more then you can always:

Share both this article and the following post on Facebook so all of your Green Party friends can get involved too: https://www.facebook.com/LGBTIQGreens/posts/1010615112293105

Add a Twibbon to your profile picture of Facebook or Twitter: http://twibbon.com/support/lgbtiqgreens-lgbtiqlovebomb

Have another way you want to get involved? Email the campaigns coordinator at molly.arthurs@lgbtiq.greenparty.org.uk

Molly Arthurs

About Molly Arthurs

Molly is co-editor of Bright Green. They are also secretary for LGBTIQA+ Greens and sit on the Young Greens Structures and Procedures Committee. They study Classics at Royal Holloway university.