Cllr Christina Summers, a Green Party councillor in Brighton and Hove is facing expulsion from the Green Party Group on the council. This is because, although she supports civil partnerships she is opposed to gay marriage. The issue was debated by the council on July 19th with a motion on "equal marriage" proposed by a couple of Labour councillors.
Green Party policy is to support gay marriage. However Cllr Summers (a Christian) disagrees. She 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."
The motion was passed anyway. Cllr Jason Kitcat, the council leader, said: "I respect every member's
right to freedom of expression in this chamber and we are all free to disagree." They then went on to debate the less exciting but more relevant subject of Council subsidy for bowling clubs.
That should all be fine. Yet now the Green Party are holding a kangaroo court to deliberate on drumming out Cllr Summers. The "panel of inquiry" is "expected to take several weeks" to decide after "establishing the facts." Several weeks to establish the facts? Click here on the webcam and move the cursor forwards to 4 hours 48 minutes for Cllr Summers' speech.
Whether you agree or disagree with Cllr Summers, is it not extraordinary that the Green Party is even considering such an intolerant response? Imagine, for example, the Labour Party withdrawing the whip from the Labour MP Ben Bradshaw due to his opposition to gay marriage.