Green party

Green leader welcomes gay wedding decision

1 March 2004

The Leader of Wales Green Party/Plaid Werdd Cymru today sent a message of congratulation to a Green Party mayor in New York who married 26 gay and lesbian couples last week.

Martyn Shrewsbury, Wales Green Party leader, who himself performs gay wedding ceremonies, described the US move as "a victory for equal rights over President Bush and right-wing homophobia."

President Bush has called for a constitutional amendment defining marriage in traditional terms. He said on Friday: "Marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal, and the job of the president is to drive policy toward the ideal."

But the Green Party's Martyn Shrewsbury said today: "Having witnessed President Bush's behaviour over the Iraq war and the Kyoto Protocol, we know what to make of his 'ideals'.

"This is about freedom and acceptance of differences, and I congratulate the Green Party mayor in New York for his stance.

"It seems President Bush is somewhat homophobic as well as being given to dishonesty and organised mass violence."

Mr Shrewsbury, who lives in Swansea with his wife and their son, also welcomed the California state supreme court's decision on Friday to allow gay weddings to continue. More than 3,400 same-sex couples have got married since San Francisco's mayor began issuing licences two weeks ago, although right-wingers have tried to stop the practice.

Equal rights an election priority

Mr Shrewsbury, who will lead the campaign for a Wales Green Party seat in the European Parliament this June, pledged that equal rights would be one of his priorities if elected to Brussels, where he would join dozens of sitting Green MEPs including two from Britain - a number expected to increase on 10 June this year.

He commented: "There's still a long way to go before full rights between heterosexual and homosexuals are recognised, and it's vital that politicians take responsibility for ensuring liberty and equal rights."

Notes:
1. Source of US info: "California gay weddings can go on", 28.2.04, www.bbc.co.uk.

2. The Green mayor in New York is 26-year-old Jason West, Mayor of New Paltz, NY.