Trans flag

London Green Party members this evening reiterated their commitment to fighting for trans rights. Members voted for a motion which stated the regional branch of the Green Party of England and Wales would be ‘a welcoming a welcoming and safe place for all, including trans and non-binary people.’ The motion also urged the party’s leadership to ‘continue to take a strong stance against transphobia in all its forms.’ 

Support for the motion was strong, with more than 70 per cent of members present supporting it.

The motion was proposed by Green member of the London Assembly Caroline Russell. Speaking in the debate on the motion, she said,

Our motion affirms our support for trans and gender diverse people and our wish to make London Green Party a place where trans and gender diverse people feel absolutely welcome. It also states that we will continue to oppose dog-whistling and bigotry, including transphobia and that we encourage the leadership of Green Party of England and Wales to do likewise.

I am deeply saddened that it feels necessary to put a motion like this, but we are living through a period where LGBTI people are under increasing attack.

Russell continued by drawing a parallel between the widespread homophobia of the 1980s and the attacks on trans people today. She said,

I left university in 1983, and lived through the terrible prejudice and fear generated around Aids and section 28 – I’m so worried about the division and fear being stoked now about people who are trans.

London Green Party I hope you will vote for this motion showing that our region is inclusive and that we stand together against transphobia.

Ria Patel, co-chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens and a newly elected Councillor in Croydon was a seconder of the motion. Following the passing of the motion, they told Bright Green,

At a time where the media’s portrayal of trans people is leading to more discrimination, violence and bigotry towards us, I’m proud that London Green Party have clearly voted for this motion, reaffirming our support for our trans siblings and our opposition to all forms of dogwhilsting and bigotry.

Members were prompted to vote on the motion in light of the recent Council of Europe Resolution which condemned attacks on LGBTIQA+ rights in a number of European countries, including the UK.

The full text of the resolution of the motion to London Green Party read,

We will continue to make London Green Party a welcoming and safe place for all, including trans and non-binary people.

We will continue to oppose all forms of dog-whistling and bigotry, including transphobia, as there can be no environmental justice without social and economic justice.

We urge the Leadership, Executive, Regional Council and membership of the Green Party of England and Wales to continue to take a strong stance against transphobia in all its forms.

Prior to the vote being taken on the motion itself, members were presented with an amendment proposed by the party’s former deputy leader Shahrar Ali. Ali’s amendment sought to change the motion’s wording so that it described the Council of Europe’s resolution as “deeply flawed”, and argued that it “falsely compared LGBTI rights protections in the UK with the extreme hostility to be found in some other notorious countries in Europe”. 

The amendment proposed by Ali was defeated, with only 26 per cent of members supporting it. Ali has since reiterated his claim that there is a ‘hostile environment’ in the Green Party for what he describes as ‘gender critical members’.

Following the passing of the motion, newly elected Islington Councillor and the party’s migration spokesperson Benali Hamdache tweeted in celebration. He said that London Green Party had “overwhelmingly backed trans rights”, and in referring to the amendment, “There has to be an end to this wasteful effort to trip up our inclusive and intersectional Green values.”

Image credit: Torbakhopper – Creative Commons