Scottish Greens will debate cutting ties with Green Party of England and Wales over 'transphobia' concerns
The motion has been submitted by Beth Douglas – co-convenor of the Scottish Greens LGBT+ group, the Rainbow Greens – and claims office holders of GPEW have engaged in “transphobic rhetoric and conduct”.
It calls for the Scottish Greens to suspend the “formal association” between the two parties, and for this to continue until “effective action" has been taken to “address both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green Party”.
Heather Herbert, co-convener of the Rainbow Greens, told The Scotsman: "These concerns are not new.
"We’ve threatened to do this at the end of last year and the Green Party of England and Wales with the backing of their LGBT+ group committed to dealing with transphobia.
"They started to make some moves. However, nothing happened. Transphobia hasn’t decreased in the GPEW.”
Ms Herbert, a trans woman and activist, said “depicting trans-women as a threat to cis-women” by some members of the GPEW had created “serious concerns” as she said she does not feel safe working with the GPEW at the moment.
Ms Douglas said: "Over the past few years, we have seen office-bearers of the Green Party of England and Wales carry out transphobic rhetoric and conduct.
"This includes submitting motions, deemed competent by the Green Party of England and Wales, that would deny trans people gender affirming healthcare and would seek to legislate on devolved matters.
"More recently we have seen an upsurge in members insinuating queer people are more likely to be groomers and candidates for the executive committee appearing on right-wing talk shows to argue in order for the Green Party of England and Wales to be electorally successful they need to help fuel a culture war on trans people.
"It's eerily similar to the debate happening in the Conservative party for their leadership contest.”
The motion hopes to trigger action from the GPEW on discrimination within the party as Ms Douglas said disciplinary action on transphobia from the GPEW “remains to be lethargic, ineffective and inconsistent”.
Ms Herbert said: "It’s a real shame that it has come to this as there are more important issues to face.
"I’d rather be fighting climate change but the situation is we have to waste our time fighting transphobia in England and Wales because they don’t seem willing to do it themselves.”
A GPEW spokesperson said: "The Green Party of England and Wales values highly the relationship we hold with our sister party, the Scottish Greens and we are proud of the aims and values that we share in furthering Green policies across the UK.
"The Green Party of England and Wales is clear that trans rights are human rights and we are proud of our strong policies on trans inclusion.
"It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all - that means campaigning for the rights of trans people, as well as women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done."
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