Brighton: Green Party councillor faces possible exclusion over equal marriage row
A Green councillor in Brighton and Hove may have compromised her signed declaration as a representative of the party after opposing equal marriage for same-sex couples.
Christina Summers voted against party lines last month when the Greens were discussing the UK Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage by 2015.
Speaking during a Brighton and Hove City Council debate on 19 July, Ms Summers said: “When you touch marriage, you’re touching family and you’re hitting at the very heart of God and I have an enormous problem with that”.
She also told the Argus newspaper: “I’m accountable to God above any political party. Obviously whatever the cost, if there is a cost, then so be it.
Ms Summers claims to support civil partnerships but is adamant that “marriage” is about a relationship between a “man and a woman”.
Although the Green Party does not whip its councillors to vote in a particular way on a matter of conscience, Ms Summer has been subjected to an investigatory panel.
According to the BBC, the councillor’s decision to vote against such a long standing principle for the party has sparked concern in several members.
Rob Shepherd, of the Brighton and Hove Green Party Executive Committee, said the panel had no power to remove Ms Summers from the Green Party but may exclude her from membership of the Green group, which has minority control of the council.
A decision is expected to be taken regarding her fate in the next few weeks.
Earlier this year Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas became the first party leader to record a video of support for the Out4Marriage campaign. The MP talked of the party’s long standing commitment to LGBT equality and said same-sex marriage is a “basic human right”.