The manifesto, published on Monday, broadly covers a wide range of issues; LGBTI healthcare, inclusive education, transgender and intersex rights, tackling austerity, tackling hate crime and discrimination, asylum and international LGBTI rights, as well as sports.
The Scottish Green Party wants to tackle barriers to healthcare, particularly trans people, they will pursue a policy of access to Gender Identity Clinics within 18 weeks. The party also wants to push for more mental health care for LGBTI+ people that is person-centered and not just treated as a “secondary” option to physical health. In addition they propose a ban on “conversion therapy” and intrusive surgery on intersex minors. The Greens also want to remove the ban on gay men donating blood and introducing HPV vaccination for youth. Green MSPs will fight to protect and support funding for healthcare and education services, and to reduce the effects of austerity on social and third sector services for LGBTI+ people.
The Greens also gave a commitment to ensure inclusive education. “All schools should provide comprehensive ‘relationship, sexual health and parenthood’ education which is equality-based and LGBTI+ inclusive”, said their manifesto. They want to increasing teach training regarding bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity and ensure more specific LGBTI facilities and resources. This policy of inclusion, diversity education and combating prejudice is also extended by the Greens to sports.
The party states it is committed to take “comprehensive action to tackle discrimination and inequality in employment and public services.”
Within legal reform the Scottish Greens also want back the equal recognition campaign of the Equality Network – in terms of a “reform of gender recognition law to a self-definition process, removing the psychiatric diagnosis requirement.” The party supports “legal recognition of those who are neither male nor female, such as appropriate options on legal documents such as passports.”
In addition, the Greens call for for legislation to make Civil Partnerships open to all couples. And that “LGBTI+ couples should have equal rights to mixed-gender.”
The party will also work to have “persecution on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity should be considered a legitimate basis for an asylum application” as well as ensuring the Scottish Government acts for LGBTI rights internationally.
Speaking with KaleidoScot, Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens Co-Convener, said: “Scotland has come along way on equality since Greens proposed the civil partnership legislation in 2003. That legislation came on the back of the best ever Green performance. We hope that an even bigger group of Green MSPs and make an even bigger impact for equality.
“While much important legislative change has been achieved, Scotland still has some way to go to tackle the culture of homophobia. That is something that should be a priority over the period of the next Scottish Parliament. Greens are committed to achieving this cultural change to a society with equality at its heart.”
Patrick Harvie, Scottish Greens Co-Convener said: “It was campaigning for the scrapping of Section 2A that motivated me to get involved in the Scottish Green Party, and I’ve always been proud that the Greens have been ahead of the curve on equality.
“We backed equal marriage long before it became law, created Europe’s most trans-inclusive laws against hate crime, and we don’t treat homophobia as a special ‘conscience issue’ allowing our MSPs to oppose equality.”