LGBTIQA+ pride flag

Earlier this month, the LGBTIQA+ Greens asked the candidates standing in the Green Party of England and Wales internal elections to commit to eight pledges on LGBTIQA+ rights. The pledges cover a number of different issues both within and outside of the party. Among them are a commitment to campaigning to reform the Gender Recognition Act and supporting LGBTIQA+ Green Party members to get elected to local councils. These pledges were put to the candidates for the party’s leadership, executive (GPEx), the House of Lords and the policy development committee.

The full list of candidates who have made these pledges has now been released, with each candidate being given a score out of eight. A majority of candidates were given eight points for making each of the pledges.

However, there are only three positions where every candidate standing received the full eight points. Every candidate for external communications coordinator, campaigns coordinator and policy development coordinator made the eight pledges.

In other races the LGBTIQA+ Greens have identified a clear division between candidates – including for the positions of leader and deputy leader.

In the leadership contest, both Rosi Sexton and the job share team of Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley received eight points for their pledges. Meanwhile, former Green Party deputy leader Shahrar Ali was given just three and a half points. Ali was marked down as a result of the LGBTIQA+ Greens deeming his responses to the pledges around reforming the Gender Recognition Act, supporting healthcare for trans young people and supporting LGBT+ inclusive schooling insufficient.

A similar result was produced in the deputy leadership contest. Four of the five candidates – Amelia Womack, Cleo Lake, Nick Humberstone and Tom Pashby – were given eight points for their pledges. Andrea Carey, on the other hand, received just two and a half points. Carey was marked down as a result of – among other things – the LGBTIQA+ Greens deeming her responses to the pledges around calling for proper funding for trans healthcare and supporting getting LGBTIQA+ councillors elected insufficient.

In most of the other races, the primary reason for not all candidates receiving the full eight points was that they failed to respond to the pledges. The following candidates did not respond:

  • Liz Reason – standing for GPEx chair
  • Richard Bearman – standing for management coordinator
  • Julia Lagoutte – standing for publications coordinator
  • Claudine Letsae – standing for international coordinator
  • Zoe Nicholson – standing for elections coordinator
  • Andrew Cooper – standing for House of Lords
  • Rupert Read – standing for House of Lords
  • Andrea Dexter – standing for policy development committee
  • David Carlyon – standing for policy development committee
  • Nick Bowett – standing for policy development committee

In addition, there were some candidates who – like Ali and Carey – scored well below the full eight points. Among these was Theo Simon, who is standing for trade union liaison officer. Simon scored four and a half points, being marked down as a result of the LGBTIQA+ Greens deeming his responses to pledges regarding supporting non-binary members in internal party processes and commiting to supporting LGBT+ inclusive relationship and sex education insufficient.

Speaking to Bright Green on the pledges, LGBTIQA+ Greens co-chair Benali Hamdache said:

We’re incredibly grateful to add candidates who took the time to reply. This pledge will be invaluable to Green Members on deciding how to vote. To all LGBTIQA+ allies in the party I’d urge you to share this with as many members as possible. Send it to any members you know. Post it in Green Party Facebook groups. Tweet it – more than once! Together we can elect an inclusive leadership in September.

Voting for these elections will take place throughout August.

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Editor’s note – this article was edited at 22:13 to more accurately reflect the reasons for Shahrar Ali, Andrea Carey and Theo Simon being marked down by the LGBTIQA+ Greens in certain areas. Initially, the article claimed that these three candidates were marked down as a result of not making a series of commitments. It has been edited to state that the LGBTIQA+ Greens deemed these candidates’ responses were insufficient to be awarded points on their scorecard.

Image credit: Ludovic Berton – Creative Commons