We, the Rainbow Greens network of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, urge members of the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) to:
1. Uphold the Global Greens Charter by voting down D21 (Stonewall and Disaffiliation from Diversity Champions Scheme) and E14 (Ensuring Sex and Gender are not Conflated) on the first agenda, proposed by the Green Women’s Committee, due to their inherent transphobia.
2. Urge the Party to uphold of the work of the LGBTQIA+ Greens and protect transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse members by ensuring these members are not required to ‘debate’ their identities with transphobic members, nor justify their right to dignity and respect within the party.
3. Commit to a review of party culture and structures to ensure the safety of transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse members.
4. Hold prominent transphobic figures to account in your party, ensuring they no longer can continue to cause harm.
We understand the proposal of these motions do not represent all GPEW members, nor all members of the GPEW Women’s Network. We give our full support to the GPEW LGBTQIA+ Network’s open letter, calling for the GPEW Women Committee to confirm to the membership that the transphobic beliefs inherent to these motions do not represent the GPEW membership.
We also recommend some of the resources produced here in Aotearoa New Zealand by our wonderful community members who work hard to educate and help others understand their lives and experiences:
If the previously-mentioned motions were to pass, the GPEW will be in violation of the Global Green Charter. The motions are specifically contrary to Respect for Diversity (page 7) and Political Action Section 6: Human Rights, which states:
"6.15 Demand decriminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual relations, legal recognition of transgender people and people of marginalised genders, protection of the right to bodily autonomy including for intersex people, and equal rights for same-sex relationships."
To uphold the principles of the green movement, we will call on the global network of Green Parties to stand against transphobia, and remove GPEW if this motion is passed and the campaign being led against the rights of transgender people is not halted.
Futhermore, we call on all other Green Parties across the world to ensure transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people can participate safely and are backed by policy platforms and action which upholds their rights. We thank the Green Parties that have already expressed support for our transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities, and attach some of these to the end of this letter.
Finally, to all transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people facing discrimination in England and Wales and across the rest of the world, our hearts and thoughts are with you. You deserve to live a life of dignity, safety and self-expression and we will always keep up the work in our own party to fight for your rights.
Statements from Other Green Parties
Support for Trans Rights and denial of transphobic views is the position of European Union Greens (with which the GPEW are still affiliated), as determined by majority vote of member parties.
“We call upon the Green Group in the European Parliament to ensure that the rights of minorities, particularly those of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community in the applicant states for membership of the European Union are safeguarded, and that adequate monitoring of the situation in those states is carried out by the Commission and the European Parliament, to ensure that there are no infringements of the rights of these minorities, in accordance with the principles of European law and justice.”
(Source: Resolution on the rights of minorities)
“You scapegoat our community when all we ask for is safety.”
The full EGP Resolution adopted at the 32nd EGP Council, 2-6 December 2020
(Source: Trans rights here! Trans Rights Now!)
The supportive positions of the European Greens Member Parties’.
“I hope that this message is the reality check needed to encourage the appropriate action to heal the Green Party of England and Wales, make up for its past complicity on transphobia and be clear going forward a culture war that pits women, trans people and the wider LGBT+ movement against each other will not help save the planet.”
(Source: Beth Douglas, Scottish Greens to debate cutting ties with Green Party of England and Wales)
“GPEW has two options, either admit and propose a plan to deal with the institutional transphobia in your party or sister parties will cut ties.”
(Source: Scottish Rainbow Greens)
Statement from an Aotearoa Rainbow Greens Member.
In 2019, while I was a UK resident, I happily joined the Green Party of England and Wales, wanting to contribute to the Green movement where I was living, while still keeping my close ties to the NZ Greens. As a queer person, I was instantly confronted by transphobia in every Green Party space I tried to enter. From my first foray into joining a Branch meeting, to every single Network I joined, including the Green Left, Rainbow Greens, Women’s groups (I joined when I still identified as a woman) and even the environmental groups were dominated by Gender Critical (aka transphobic) rhetoric.The roots of bigotry were well established and it felt simply too overwhelming and upsetting to attempt to change things from the inside. After trying everything I could to find a single safe space within the party, I cancelled my membership and told the party, and the GPEW Rainbow Greens, why I was leaving. Shortly after, Sian Berry, then co-leader of GPEW stood down because of the rampant transphobia she opposed. She campaigned to be mayor of London on the promise of making the city the most trans-inclusive on earth. But was “unable to stop someone who has called for the restriction of trans rights being appointed as a spokesperson for her own party”.
When she announced she would be standing down as co-leader she said “It makes me really sad that we’ve reached a point where I’ve got this issue of conscience.”
‘For Berry, standing up against the ongoing moral panic about trans rights is “a moral test for how we behave towards all minorities, how we stand up for this particularly demonised minority. It seems really obvious to me what side of that to stand on.” Those campaigning against trans rights are, she says, “picking on and singling out a very small minority group who are vulnerable and demonisable and doing that in a way that is so unfair to my mind. “It’s just so important that we stand up for everyone who’s being demonised and picked on at the moment. And trans people are getting the absolute worst of it, and it’s so toxic.”’
If a cis co-leader felt this way, it’s no surprise that someone tentatively exploring their own gender identity would feel unsafe, unwelcome, and unable to stay in that space. I feel devastated when I think of all the trans and non-binary folks who are facing these attacks on their rights in a place they should be safe.
I am proud to be a member of The Green Party of Aotearoa, I am proud of Nukunuku (our new constitution), and the commitment we have made to uphold the rights, safety, and aspirations of gender non-conforming people within our party. The Green Party of England and Wales should not even be able to call themselves a Green Party if they wish to protect human rights abusers (let’s be clear, that’s what “Gender Critical” people are) in their own spaces. It clearly is in opposition to the Global Greens charter. I ask our caucus, and our party, to come out strongly in support of rainbow communities in England and Wales, and in opposition to these proposed new motions.
The Rainbow Greens of Aotearoa New Zealand
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere (Portfolio Holder for Rainbow Issues)
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Kaunihera (Council)