Stafford Borough councillors have voted to replace male-dominated pronouns in the town’s constitution with gender-neutral terms such as they/them so as to be more inclusive of women and gender diverse council members. According to the Stoke Sentinel, councillor Marnie Phillips put forward the notion of adopting gender-neutral pronouns, saying: “As an LGBTQ+ ally, I am conscious that our constitution should be representative of all members of the community and that includes non-binary [people].”
Phillips continued: “To ensure that council members of the future from Stafford borough’s LGBTQ+ community are comfortable with the terminology that’s used, I would like to propose replacing those references of he/she, him/her and his/her with they, their and them.” The notion was successful and now any references to ‘he/him’ in the constitution will be altered to gender-neutral pronouns.
Bournemouth council also proposed similar amendments in March, with a notion to drop gendered terms from communications, such as chairman, and to use gender-neutral language where a person’s gender-identity is “not relevant or not known”. Councillor LJ Evans argued gendered terms may ‘reinforce stereotypes’ and deemed them “unnecessary”.