Sweden: Greens judged most LGBT-friendly parliamentary party

Ashley Chhibber July 28, 2014
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A survey and four-year voting-record study conducted by Sweden’s largest LGBT rights group has ranked the Green Party as the country’s most gay-friendly parliamentary party.

The information was released today in a report by the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) to mark the start of Stockholm Pride. By comparing politicians’ views with the official RFSL positions and guidelines, the report produces a percentage score showing the level of agreement with RFSL policy on a variety of LGBT rights issues.

Of the eight parties which are currently represented in the Riksdag, the Green Party (known in Swedish as the ‘Miljöpartiet de Gröna’ or MP) scored the highest with 88.6 percent similarity with RFSL views, making it Sweden’s most gay-friendly party.

Helena Leander, the party’s spokeswoman on LGBT issues, told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that LGBT rights are “fundamental for our ideology of affirming diversity and all people’s equal worth”.

She added: “The Greens have never wanted all people to fit one template. They should be free and able to shape their own lives without being limited by obsolete norms.”

The top three was rounded out by two non-parliamentary parties who also took part in the survey, although information from voting records could not be used. The Pirate Party (Piratpartiet) scored even higher than the Greens with 91.3 percent, while the Feminist Initiative (Feministiskt Initiativ) ranked just below at 87.6 percent.

Candidates for the upcoming Swedish General also received individual scores out of 24. Twenty candidates received this top score, including ten from the Green Party and five from the Pirate Party.

RFSL Federal Chair Ulrika Westerland said in a press release: “We hope that our report will be helpful to all voters who think that LGBTQ issues are important – whether they agree with RFSL about everything, or not.”

The survey showed that the four parties of the governing Alliance (Alliansen) are divided on LGBT issues. The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and Centre Party (Centerpartier) scored well, at 65.9 and 59 percent respectively, but the Moderates (Moderaterna) and Christian Democrats (Kristdemokratenrna) scored less well, as 27 and 21.7 percent.

The largest opposition party, the Social Democrats (Socialdemokratiskta arbetarparti), scored 68.1 percent, behind the smaller Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) at 86.5 percent but ahead of all four Alliance parties. The nationalist Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) ranked last, scoring 15.2 percent on the RFSL scale.

Sweden is not the only European country in which the Green Party has a reputation for being particularly LGBT friendly. Both Petra De Sutter of Belgium and Anna Grodzka of Poland, the only two currently-serving transgender MPs in Europe, are members of the Green Party in their respective countries.

More: Alliance, Europe, green party, LGBT friendly, parliament, rfsl, Stockholm Pride, Sweden

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