Green councillor breaks ranks over gay marriage

A Green councillor has defied her party’s support for rewriting the definition of marriage saying she is “accountable to God above any political party”.

With the exception of Christina Summers every councillor at Brighton and Hove City Council voted in favour of lobbying the Government over the issue.

Cllr Summers told local paper The Argus it was a “conscious decision” and that she is prepared to pay a price for her stance.

Problem

She said: “I could have abstained but I needed to qualify that I could not. The problem here is the understanding of equality.

“I do not agree that disagreeing with same-sex marriage is disagreeing with equality at all.

“I feel that marriage is about a relationship between a man and a woman together in a relationship and about procreation and family.”

Accountable

She added: “I’m accountable to God above any political party. Obviously whatever the cost, if there is a cost, then so be it.

“Every political party is a compromise and this was just too serious to me that I had to be true to myself.”

Phelim MacCafferty, the Green Party’s spokesman on LGBT issues, said that Cllr Summers’ views do “not reflect the position, spirit and track record of the Green Party in extending human and civil rights”.

Controversial

He also said that Green councillors would be meeting to discuss the issue.

Earlier this week Prime Minister David Cameron said he was determined to redefine marriage in the life of the current Parliament.

However, the plans have proved highly controversial with nearly 600,000 people signing a petition in support of the current definition of marriage.

Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, became the first Cabinet Minister to openly oppose the plans in May. A number of other ministers have also expressed reservations.

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