The recent United States of America Supreme Court decision in Bostock v Clayton County, which held that an employer who fires an individual for being gay or trasngender violates the equal employment opportunity provisions in the Civil Rights Act, has drawn attention to anti-discrimination protects for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) throughout the globe. In those countries that do not have comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, green parties are working to advance LGBT rights.
Author: Sean Mulcahy
The Lavender Greens, the Green Party of the États-Unis’ LGBT caucus, have welcomed the Supreme Court decision and “hope this builds upon our quest for queer liberation in the United States.” But there is also more work to be done for queer rights across the Americas.
The Ecological Green Party of Mexique recently launched an LGBT Secretary in Mexico City et Tamaulipas. The Green Party’s LGBT Secretary in Mexico City, Rodrigo Lopez, has called for the respect of trans people’s rights to non-discrimination.
Last year, Colombie’s Green Alliance candidate Claudia Lopez was elected as mayor of the capital, Bogota, as the first woman and the first openly gay person to be elected to this position. Her wife, Angelica Lozano, was the first out bisexual legislator in Colombia. And fellow party member, Mauricio Toro, was the first openly gay man elected to Colombia’s Congress, after 11 gay men had tried unsuccessfully to reach the Congress in the past two decades. Toro has stated that one of his objectives is to “continue defending LGBT rights.”
The European Greens have always taken a strong stance on LGBT rights, demanding anti-discrimination legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Last year saw the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation from a cross-party group in Macédoine du Nord. The legislation was introduced by Maja Morachanin, the leader of the Democractic Renewal of Macedonia, a member party of the Global Greens. The bill passed the Parliament. Unfortunately, as the bill was passed only by a majority of parliamentarians present in the chamber at the time (rather than an outright majority of parliamentarians), the Constitutional Court repealed the law this year. Elections are happening in July, and activists, including the Green Party of England and Wales’ International Coordinator, Alice Hubbard, are working on a pledge to secure support for the law.
The Green Party in Irlande has just entered government, with Roderic O’Gorman, a tireless campaigner for LGBT rights, being appointed as Minister for Equality. The Green Party has called for the explicit addition for transgender and intersex people to the Employment Equality Act, and the new Programme for Government includes an explicit commitment to “amend the gender ground in equality legislation, to ensure that someone discriminated against on the basis of their gender identity is able to avail of this legislation.”
The Greens in L'Autriche have also recently entered government, but unfortunately were not able to secure comprehensive protection against discrimination for sexual minorities in their government negotiations, according to the party’s spokesperson for LGBT affairs, Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, though “LGBT issues is a part of the Green DNA.”
La Luxembourg Government, of which The Greens are a party, has launched an LGBT Action Plan, which includes a commitment to “analyse the possible recognition of identity and gender expression as well as the variation of sexual characteristics as grounds for discrimination in employment and work” and to strengthen national legislation accordingly.
In Espagne, Equo and its partners in the Mas Pais coalition launched an electoral program ahead of the last national elections to achieve full equality and fight against LGBT-phobia, which was ranked as the most LGBT-friendly by LGBT association, Arcopoli. The plan included support for the LGBT+ Equality Law which would forbid discrimination against LGBT people throughout Spain and which has stalled in the national parliament. Equo’s Ines Sabanes, who was a staunch advocate for LGBT rights during her time as a Madrid municipal councillor, was elected to the parliament. The Mas Pais group has spoken out against LGBT discrimination in parlaiment.
In la Suisse, earlier this year, voters supported a referendum to retain anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. The Greens supported extending the law to include gender identity, with the Greens’ Lisa Mazzone saying “the current legislative provisions are not enough”, but this was not supported by other parties. Nevertheless, the referendum result was welcomed by LGBT advocacy groups.
In Pologne, there are increasing attacks on the LGBT community. The Greens have participated in protests alongside the LGBT community, with the Greens’ Urszula Zielinska saying that “whenever human rights and minorities are under threat, we will be there” et speaking out against the President’s anti-LGBT rhetoric. Their candidate for the Warsaw mayoralty, Jan Spiewak, helped develop and signed an LGBT declaration committing to the use of anti-discrimination clauses in contracts with city contractors. Though he was unsuccessful in the election, the successful mayoral candidate also signed the declaration committing the city to non-discrimination against LGBT people. That successful mayoral candidate, Rafal Trzaskowski, was backed by some Greens in his run for the presidency of the country. He now faces a run-off election against the anti-LGBT President, Andrzej Duda.
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda is the only green party represented in a national parliament in Africa. Though the party has not taken an official position on LGBT rights, their political platform includes a commitment to social justice and equal opportunity. Last year, popular Rwandan gospel singer Albert Nabonibo came out and, despite the coming out causing shock, the country’s then Minister of State for Community Affairs, tweeted that “all Rwandans are born equal and remain equality in rights and freedoms.”
Both Asia Pacific countries where the Greens have national representation, Australie et Nouvelle-Zélande, have comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, though both parties are working to strengthen these laws.
There is still some way to go in the battle to end discrimination against LGBT people worldwide, but green parties are up for the fight.
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