A Scottish Greens MSP has resigned from the party over its approach to transgender issues.
Andy Wightman, MSP for Lothian, said the party’s approach to the issue had been “provocative, alienating and confrontational for many women and men”.
In a letter to Scottish Green Party co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie, which was also posted on his Twitter, Wightman said: “For some time now, since I was admonished for attending a public meeting at Edinburgh University in June 2019, I have been saddened by the intolerance shown by some party members to an open and mature dialogue about the tensions and conflicts around questions of sex and gender in the context of transgender rights and women rights.
“On Thursday last week it was made clear to me that if (as I was minded to), I voted for amendment 28 to the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill, I would face complaints and disciplinary action leading to possible suspension, deselection or expulsion.
“On the evidence of the reaction to my attendance at the June 2019 public meeting, I took this prospect seriously.”
He added: “I understand that the Scottish Green Party has a strong commitment to equalities and trans rights.
“However, some of the language, approaches and postures of the party and its spokespeople have been provocative, alienating and confrontational for many women and men.
“It has become evident to me that the sort of open-minded public engagement I would like to see take place on this topic is incompatible with a party that has become very censorious of any deviation from an agreed line.”
Responding to his resignation, a spokesperson for the party said: “The Scottish Greens are focused on building a greener and fairer Scotland that tackles the climate emergency, so Andy Wightman’s decision not to be part of our movement anymore is a matter of deep disappointment.
“Land reform, empowering local democracy and community empowerment are core Green issues, and Andy’s contribution has been very important, but the Greens remain committed to carrying on this agenda without him.
“The Scottish Greens wish Andy well in whatever he decides to do next.”
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