First transgender candidate to stand for election in Northern Ireland

Renowned transgender activist Ellen Murray has today, Thursday 14 January 2016, announced that she will be standing in West Belfast as a candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming Assembly elections.

This is the first time an openly transgender candidate has stood for election in Northern Ireland and indeed the island of Ireland.

Ellen Murray West Belfast candidate Green Party 1

Ellen Murray, pictured above, said,

“I am delighted and excited to put my name forward as a Green Party candidate in the upcoming Assembly election.

“Having spent a number of years working with marginalised young people, I believe the time is right for change in Northern Ireland, to bring about equality for all.

“There is clear under-representation of many groups within the Assembly, including women, young people and the LGBTQ community. I will to give a voice to those who need it most.

“I am standing for election because I believe that our political system, which impinges on every aspect of our lives, should be accessible to everyone.

“As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most.

“Almost two decades after the Good Friday Agreement, West Belfast is still one of the most deprived and disadvantaged areas in Western Europe, in part due to the wasteful zero sum politics at Stormont by the Executive parties.

“The Fresh Start agreement has exacerbated this by cutting welfare and benefits while gifting tax cuts to corporations, something which, as a social justice campaigner, I strongly oppose.

“I am proud to stand for the Green Party which has such a strong record on social issues. Having more Greens in Stormont can only help to improve the quality of life for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

Ellen Murray added

“As a Green Party representative I will be a champion for those who feel marginalised within West Belfast, including young people, people on low incomes, women and the LGBTQ community.

“I will support campaigns to introduce abortion law reform, and provide LGBTQ people with equal rights and respect under the law.

“I will work to ensure that the health service is given the support it needs, especially in mental health care. I will also press to develop a kinder and more compassionate welfare state to ensure a comfortable and dignified life for everyone. .

“I aim to address the transport poverty experienced by many within the constituency, and enable people to travel safely and cheaply throughout Belfast via public transport, walking and cycling.”

The leadership of the Green Party has wholeheartedly endorsed Ellen Murray’s nomination.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA said,

“I am delighted that Ellen is standing as the Green Party’s West Belfast candidate. She is fantastic campaigner for transgender rights

“I am proud to be part of a party that is open and welcoming to all, culminating in Ellen’s selection by the grassroots membership in West Belfast.

“She would make an excellent representative for the people in West Belfast.”

Deputy leader Clare Bailey added,

“I would like to congratulate Ellen on her nomination. I worked closely with her as we set up the Queer Greens caucus and know her to be a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community.

“I am certain the majority in West Belfast will also support Ellen coming forward as a candidate.”

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