Christina Summers, a member of Brighton and Hove City Council, has been dismissed from the Green Group over expressing her views on same-sex marriage in a free vote.
The Green Group of councillors announced its decision on 10 September, which was held off until the end of the Green Party conference, to avoid negative publicity.
As reported in last month’s Evangelical Times, several councillors called for her dismissal when, at a council meeting in July, she voted against a motion in support of the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.
At the launch of the party’s disciplinary inquiry panel, shortly after the vote, Councillor Summers explained her decision was based on her Christian convictions, stating ‘I’m accountable to God above any political party’.
Christina Summers, who is being advised by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), said, ‘In view of the Green Party’s own special interpretation of equality, my expulsion from the Green Group of councillors should not, in the end, come as a surprise.
‘Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel crestfallen. After at least two intimate years of campaigning and then serving together in administration, my own colleagues, who should know me well by now, have chosen to believe a lie. Party policy, however vague, is sovereign’.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the CLC, said, ‘The decision to expel Christina Summers and the shambolic nature of the disciplinary proceedings against her reflect badly on the Green Party.
‘Brighton and Hove was the first council the Greens won. They cannot expect to win any more if they continue to suppress diversity and freedom of expression in this way.
‘Ms Summers’ view of marriage as being the union of a man and a woman is consistent with the teachings of mainstream, historic Christianity. Is the door of the Green Party now closed to Christians?’
Andrea Williams added that the Green Party had wilted under pressure from its extremist elements and failed to uphold freedom and diversity of opinion at Christina Summers’ expense.