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  • Jhilam Mukherjee

How does the Labour Party Vote on LGBTQ+ Policies?

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

In this Cheat Sheet series, we are looking at how each major UK party and its MPs have voted (or not) on LGBT+ policies, to help you make a more informed voting choice.

This Cheat Sheet will give you an insight into the LGBT+ voting history of some of the most influential Labour Party MPs.

How does the Labour Party vote on LGBTQ+ policies and issues?

Sir Kier Starmer (Party Leader, Labour MP for Holburn and St Pancras)

Sir Keir Starmer is the Labour party leader and has been MP for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015. Starmer voted to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, along with the hitherto administrations and amendment bills.

Angela Rayner (Deputy Party Leader, Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne)

Rayner is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and has been MP for Ashton-under-Lyne since 2015. Due to only being MP since 2015, Rayner has only been able to vote to legalise same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. However, she has also shown significant support for reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

John Spellar (Labour MP for Warley)

Spellar has been Labour MP for Warley since 1982. Spellar has an overall positive voting record for LGBT+ equality. Most notably voting to repeal section 28(prohibition of the teaching of Homosexuality in schools) and allowing same-sex couples to marry. Despite voting to repeal Section 28, in March 2019, he voted against LGBT inclusive education in schools, and he was the only Labour MP to have done so.

Anneliese Dodds (Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, MP for Oxford East)

Dodds is the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and has been MP for Oxford East since 2017. Like Angela Rayner, Dodds has only been able to vote to legalise Same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Lisa Nandy (Shadow Foreign Secretary, Labour MP for Wigan)

Nandy is the Shadow Foreign Secretary, and has been the MP for Wigan since 2010. During her time as an MP, she has continuously voted in favour of LGBT+ rights; this includes legalising same-sex marriage in the UK and Northern Ireland. She also signed the Labour party's Trans rights pledge, agreeing to the expulsion of transphobic party members.

Nick Thomas-Symonds (Shadow Home Secretary, Labour MP for Torfaen)

Thomas-Symonds is the shadow Home Secretary, and has been the MP for Torfaen since 2015. Due to his short time in Parliament, Nick has only had the opportunity to vote for same-sex marriage legalisation in Northern Ireland.

Rachel Reeves (Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, MP for Leeds West)

Reeves is the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. She has been MP for Leeds West since 2010. She voted to legalise same-sex marriage in the UK in 2013 and subsequently for Northern Ireland in 2019, however, was absent for many of the subsequent amendment bills following the legalisation, including allowing same-sex marriage for Armed forces personnel stationed outside of the UK.

Diane Abbott (Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington)

Abbot has been MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987. Due to her extensive time as MP, Abbot has been able to vote on most substantial laws regarding LGBT+ rights. Her first vote on LGBT+ rights was to reduce the age of consent for homosexual acts from eighteen to sixteen. Despite voting majority in favour of LGBT+ rights, in 2003 Abbot was absent for the vote to repeal Section 28. Further, in 2004 she voted against allowing mixed sex marriages which become a same-sex marriage to remain valid as long as neither party objected.

Make sure to read the first Cheat Sheet on this series on the Conservative Party, and check out our dedicated LGBTQ+ Rights & Issues section for more resources on this topic.

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