Councillor faces expulsion for voting against redefinition of marriage

Aug 14, 2012

A Green Party councillor from Brighton faces being expelled from the city council’s Green group simply because she voted against the redefinition of marriage.

Christina Summers, a Christian, voted against a proposal to support the Government’s plans to introduce gay marriage.

Speaking during a council debate on 19 July, 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.”

She is now being investigated by local Party officials. Rob Shepherd, a member of the Brighton and Hove Green Party Executive Committee, said: “Christina Summers spoke and voted against equal civil marriage – a long-held and firm policy of the Green Party.”

He said a panel of inquiry had been set up to establish the facts. “No speculation on the outcome may be drawn from its commencement,” he said.

He added that the panel had no power to remove Cllr Summers from the Green Party or as a city councillor, but may exclude her from membership of the Green group, which has minority control of the council.

Cllr Summers is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. The group’s CEO Andrea Minichiello Williams criticised the Greens’ actions calling them “disturbing”.

She commented: “Trying to coerce people into being loyal to the party above being loyal to their individual conscience calls to mind the worst kind of totalitarian politics.”