Newham Greens back a safer, more inclusive Green Party
Newham Green Party reaffirms its commitment to trans rights.
This statement forms part of a motion to the 2nd of September 2022 member’s meeting of the Newham Green Party.
Newham Green Party is determined to create an inclusive, welcoming and safe space for all our members, regardless of gender identity.
The Newham Green Party has a long history of trans and non-binary members, the wider LGBTIQA+ community, and allies being involved in the organisation of the local party, which we hope to see continue. According to the 2021 Census, Newham has the highest proportion of trans people living there of all local authorities in England & Wales.
We support the Green Party policy (RR530) which states:
“The Green Party recognises that trans men are men, trans women are women, and that non-binary identities exist and are valid. We shall respect transgender and non-binary people's identities as real. The Green Party shall include, and push for further acceptance of, transgender and non-binary people within all areas of society.”
We believe there is a relentless and manufactured culture war being stirred up against trans and non-binary people both within and outside of the Green Party, particularly by those in the media. The latest example of this has been the letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to redefine ‘sex’ in the landmark Equality Act. The Tory government has ensured appointments to the EHRC reflect its political agenda and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions has said that the process for appointments was “not sufficiently broad and transparent”, and that the EHRC was insufficiently plural. This letter and it’s ‘guidance’ can be viewed in the broader context of increasing hostility towards trans people, including an increase in reported hate crimes against trans people.
Within the Green Party, we believe those who are perpetuating transphobia are a small but vocal minority, who are radicalising otherwise inclusive members with falsehoods and misrepresentation.
In light of our efforts to create a safe space in the Newham Green Party being undermined by this behaviour, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the inclusion and mutual respect of all of our members.
We oppose all forms of bigotry and condemn the use of all transphobic dog-whistling, misrepresentation and demonization, by anyone, no matter their positions or level of influence, both within and outside the party.
We believe there can be no climate justice without social, economic and racial justice. We, therefore, believe that the rights of trans and non-binary people are essential to Green Party values and that the Green Party must fight for them.
We believe that unless the Green Party drives out all bigotry and transphobia from our party, many members will step away from being involved or leave the party altogether. We know that many already have.
We are appalled that the party’s disciplinary process has not only failed to protect trans and non-binary members from the transphobia present in our party, but has been used to harass and exclude trans and non-binary members, and their allies, from party activities. We acknowledge with sadness that this is also depriving the party of the vital and valuable contributions of many current and former members. We condemn this behaviour.
We apologise to those who have been failed and acknowledge that this includes multiple members of the Newham Green Party.
We are particularly appalled that high-profile Green Party members have been able to perpetuate transphobia and homophobia without sufficient disciplinary action being taken.
We believe this threatens our position as an electorally relevant and successful political party, and more importantly, undermines the moral foundations of our party.
We are incredibly worried that without firm action, the Green Party’s position within the European Greens and Global Greens is at risk, as they both enshrine trans rights. We have already seen condemnations from the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Scottish Greens have cut off formal ties with the Green Party of England and Wales, which is a clear sign that lack of action on these matters has brought the Green Party of England and Wales into disrepute with our sister party in Scotland.
Therefore, Newham Green Party calls for:
- All members of the party to engage with and support the LGBTIQA+ Greens and others who are attempting to educate the party on transphobia and homophobia.
- 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.
- The Green Party to reform its disciplinary processes to better protect trans and non-binary members from transphobia, and all members from all forms of abuse.
- Green Party regional council to fulfil its duty to uphold the wellbeing of the party, and to take action against those who repeatedly bring the party into disrepute.
- Following the motion “Changes to the Constitution for Disciplinary Committee” being passed at conference, which will expand the size of Disciplinary Committee to allow it to process more cases, Disciplinary Committee to use that expanded committee to protect trans and non-binary members and their allies from the transphobia being perpetuated in the party.
- All current members of, and candidates for, Disciplinary Committee and Green Party Regional Council to commit to upholding our Code of Conduct which enshrines the right to freedom of self-expression.
- All members to be held accountable for their actions, and for this to enable members to learn and grow where they show willingness. Where they do not, we call for appropriate disciplinary action to be taken to safeguard members.
- The Green Party of England and Wales to take any action necessary to safeguard its position in the European Greens and Global Greens, and repair its relationship with the Scottish Greens.
- The Leadership and Executive to issue a formal apology to the Scottish Greens for the behaviour described in the motion passed at the Scottish Greens conference.
Newham Green Party commits to always protect the rights of trans and non-binary people and will fight to ensure our party remains a safe and inclusive space for all.
In January 2023, Newham Green Party councillors put a motion to London Borough of Newham full council in support of the transgender community, which was passed by the council. In light of a concerning rise in transphobia, as well as high levels of discrimination and hostility experienced by trans and non-binary people across the UK, Newham Council have committed to substantial action to support the trans community.
Despite this, it is disappointing that Labour councillors rejected a Green amendment updating the motion, which had first been proposed in the summer of 2022. The amendment set out to honour victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs in November 2022, which occurred the day before Trans Day of Remembrance, and where two of the victims were trans. It also endorsed the Gender Recognition Reform Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament in December 2022, and called on the UK Government not to block it. In addition, the amendment highlighted the Office for National Statistics data released in January 2023 which indicated that Newham has the highest proportion of trans people anywhere in England and Wales.
Councillor Nate Higgins, who proposed the motion said: "Trans people are some of the most vulnerable and discriminated against members of society and they deserve specific attention and support, especially in this transphobic climate we're experiencing now. As a councillor, I can't eradicate transphobia - that's going to take national action that this Tory Government is shamefully refusing to take. But we can do our bit to make sure the council isn't contributing to negative experiences for trans residents and staff, and to make the most of any opportunity to empower them. I'm proud of this motion and the action it has set in motion, and I look forward to working with trans residents and the administration to ensure Newham is as safe and welcoming to trans people as it possibly can be."