How does the Conservative Party Vote on LGBTQ+ Policies?
Updated: Mar 1
Are you not sure about what party to vote for or find an alliance with? Feeling a bit misled by the news? In this series, we will be taking a look at how each UK party and its MPs have voted (or not) on LGBT+ policies, helping you make an informed decision on whether they deserve your support.
First up, we have the Conservative Party.
Boris Johnson (Prime Minister, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip)
Boris Johnson first became an MP in 2001 and then once again, after his time as London Mayor, in 2015.
Johnson has been absent ten times during votes for pro LGBT policies; the first time in 2002, during amendments to the Adoption and Children Bill, which saw not only single parents being allowed to adopt but same-sex couples too. However, Johnson was one of the MPs who voted to repeal Section 28 in 2003 (the ban of teaching about same-sex relationships in school), despite a majority of Conservative MPs voting to keep the ban. Johnson has therefore only voted twice in favour of LGBT rights, including allowing same-sex civil partnerships.
Rishi Sunak (The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Conservative MP for Richmond)
Rishi Sunak has been MP of Richmond (York’s) since 2015 and is now the Chancellor of the Exchequer, meaning he is the government's chief financial minister. As his time in Parliament has only been for five years, Rishi has not been able to vote on many LGBT+ acts/bills but was absent for the vote on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland during July 2019.
Matthew Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Conservative MP for West Suffolk)
Matt Hancock is the current Secretary of State and has been an MP since 2010. Hancock's voting record for LGBT bills/acts has been historically positive, with no recorded absences during the votes. He voted in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013 and subsequently in 2019 for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
Priti Patel (The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Conservative MP for Witham)
Priti Patel has been an MP since 2010 and therefore, like Hancock, has been able to vote on the most recent LGBT+ progress. Unlike Hancock, however, Patel voted against same-sex marriage and was subsequently absent for all the votes following concerning amendments to the same-sex marriage legalisation. Patel was also absent from the vote for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
Dominic Raab (The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton)
Dominic Raab has been MP for Esher and Walton since 2010. Raab has had five different cabinet roles, including his current title as Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs. He voted to allow same-sex marriage and all subsequent votes. However, he was absent from the vote to allow equal marriage in Northern Ireland.
Michael Gove (Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Conservative MP for Surrey Heath)
Michael Gove is one of the longest-serving MPs in the current government cabinet, as he was first elected as MP for Surrey Heath in 2005. Gove was present for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) vote in 2007 and voted in favour. He was recorded as absent from all votes regarding adoption and fertility treatment equality (Only 12 conservative MPs voted against keeping a present mother and father as a requirement for IVF treatment). After Gove voted in favour of same-sex marriage, he was then absent from the bill amendments in light of same-sex marriage legalisation.
Elizabeth Truss (Minister for Women and Equalities, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk)
Elizabeth Truss has been an MP since 2010 and is the current Minister for Women and Equalities. Truss has an entirely positive voting record on LGBT rights. She is the only MP out of the MPs previously listed who voted to make same-sex marriage available to armed forces outside the UK. She voted for same-sex marriage, including in Northern Ireland, and was not absent for any subsequent votes in light of the legalisations.
If you want to find out more about the current Conservative Party and their voting records, including MPs of other parties, visit the useful website https://www.theyworkforyou.com/, or follow us for future educational articles and guides on UK politics, and hopefully you can make your own informed choices when voting.
For more information, head to our dedicated LGBTQ+ section.