Christian expelled from Green Group of Councillors
Christina Summers, a member of Brighton and Hove City Council, has been dismissed from the Green Group for expressing her views on same-sex marriage in a free vote.
The decision was taken on Monday (17 September) following a recommendation by the disciplinary panel of the Green Group of Councillors to expel Ms Summer last week.
Announcing the decision, Rob Shepherd, speaking on behalf of the Brighton and Hove Green Party, said:
“A majority of Green Councillors confirmed the removal of Councillor Summers from the Green Group of Councillors and so from today she will sit as an independent councillor, though she will remain a member of Brighton and Hove Green Party.”
Several Green Councillors had called for her dismissal when she voted against a motion in support of the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage at a Full Council meeting in July.
Ms Summers previously explained that her decision was based on her Christian convictions, stating “I’m accountable to God above any political party.”
But Deputy council leader Phelim MacCafferty, the party spokesman on LGBT issues, said:
“Councillor Summers has a long standing position of conscience about religious marriage based on her faith.
“Greens believe she is entitled to hold her view but this does not reflect the position, spirit and track record of the Green Party in extending human and civil rights for all social groups irrespective of sexual orientation or on other grounds.”
Ms Summers has decided to appeal against the decision and will be supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said:
“We are extremely disappointed with this decision. The Party has wilted under pressure from its extremist elements and failed to uphold freedom and diversity of opinion at Councillor Summers’ expense”.