The Scottish Green Party manifesto, launched on 30 March, focuses on three key themes – to end poverty; to keep public services in public hands and to give more power to local communities, mentioning only in passing LGBTI rights.
The pledges defined on their manifesto reassures the Scottish Greens ongoing engagement in tackling societal inequalities.
Under the headline “Society” the party is pledging to “clearly, forcefully and with enthusiasm” to fight for a welfare state, social justice and a welcoming nation.
Its manifesto states their support to the UK’s Human Rights act and that any prejudice of race, colour, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion, national or social origin should have no place in our society.
When it comes to LGBTI rights the Scottish Greens manifesto has no explicit defined policies, however, speaking exclusively to KaleidoScot, the co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie, the first openly bisexual party leader in Scotland, said he is “happy to support” the LGBTI rights policies pledged by the Green Party of England and Wales:
“Greens across the UK are committed to advancing LGBTIQ rights. I was delighted to see equal marriage become law in Scotland with a substantial majority.
“There are still people, who remain openly hostile to our communities, but their numbers are dwindling and they are comprehensively losing the argument.
“Our manifesto sets out unequivocally that prejudice of any kind has no place in our society.
“The Green Party in England and Wales have ten policies in their manifesto under the LGBTIQ headline – most of which are devolved in Scotland and will be addressed by the Scottish Green Party in next year’s election to the Scottish Parliament.
“However I’m happy to support all GPEW’s [Green Party of England and Wales] policies in this area, and all Green MPs elected will commit to working hard to achieve these priorities.
“Solidarity with people facing discrimination across the world is important too. Pride House at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was a golden opportunity to challenge prejudice, support LGBTIQ communities, and demonstrate the progress, which can be made.
“I want to see that progress continued, and have consistently pressed the Scottish Government to support more work of this kind.”
The Green Party of England and Wales, which is a separate party to its Scottish sister, has, in their manifesto, outlined 10 detailed commitments to LGBTI rights:
* Legislate to remedy inequality in pension inheritance for same-sex marriage partners and same-sex civil partners
* Consider reducing the 12-month blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men, based on individual risk assessment where the donor is identified to be not at risk of passing infections into the blood supply.
* Apologise and pardon all 50,000 – 100,00 men convicted of consenting adult same-sex relations under anti-gay laws that have now been repealed
* Provide mandatory HIV, sex and relationship education age appropriate and LGBTIQ inclusive – in all schools from primary level onwards.
* Require every school to have an anti-bullying programme that explicitly combats homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.
* Combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic violence by ensuring uniform legislation against all forms of hate crime.
* End the cuts to the NHS, which have undermined HIV services and made it harder for trans people to access gender reassignment services.
* End the detention of LGBTIQ (and other) asylum seekers and the culture of disbelief that often denies them refugee status.
* Challenge criminalisation, discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ people in other countries and work in solidarity with campaigners there.
* Press the Commonwealth to grant accredited status to a Commonwealth LGBTIQ Association and urge all member states to end the criminalisation of homosexuality and protect LGBTIQ citizens against discrimination and hate crime.
UPDATE: 1 May 2015
The Green Party of England and Wales today launched it’s LGBTIQ Manifesto, and the first party in UK history to pledge support to intersex advocates in their struggle to gain legal protections from medically unnecessary, non-consensual surgical and other interventions that intersex people currently endure simply for being born as they are.
GPEW Leader Natalie Bennett said at the Manifesto’s launch today: “And our promise to the LGBTIQ community is that a strong group of MPs will always work with you, and fight for your rights. We know that the struggle continues – and we’ll do everything within our power to work with you towards ending discrimination.”
The GPEW Manifesto says of intersex human rights issues
The Green Party fully supports the rights of all people born intersex to self-determination, bodily integrity, and personal autonomy in all medical decisions made about them.
We support intersex being recognised as a protected status in current UK equality legislation as a first step toward securing legal protections against discrimination for everyone born intersex.
The Green Party would strive to support intersex advocates as they work toward ensuring that it is made unlawful for clinicians or medical practitioners to enact sex assignment interventions or treatments on infants and young children that can be deferred until such time as an individual is able to give their informed consent.