How does the Scottish National Party vote on LGBTQ+ Issues?
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 Scottish National Party MPs.
Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister of Scotland, Leader for the Scottish National Party)
Nicola Sturgeon is the current First Minister of Scotland and leader for the Scottish National Party. She has been a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) since 1999, first as an additional member for the Glasgow electoral region.
Sturgeon has continuously voted in favour of LGBT+ rights: she was in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act, which allowed same-sex couples to marry in Scotland in 2014. In March 2021, she voted in favour of the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill, which includes the protection of sexual orientation and gender identity.
She has also shown significant support for reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, making a statement in support of transgender rights.
Deidre Brock (MP for Edinburgh North and Leith)
Deidre Brock is a front-bench MP in the SNP group responsible for Devolved Government and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She sits on the Scottish Affairs Committee.
As Brock's time in Parliament has been short, she has only had the chance to vote in favour of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
John Nicolson (MP for Ochil and South Perthshire)
Nicolson has been MP since 2015. He is also an ex BBC news broadcaster, who came out publicly as gay in 1999 in various newspapers, and later stated about the event:
"I've lost track of the number of people who've told me subsequently that when I came out in the papers, they told their parents. Gay kids should have role models. They should know that being gay doesn't stop you doing anything as an adult."
John has used his journalist career to speak out against homophobia in sport, and in 2016, suggested the "Alan Turing Law", which would pardon all gay men who had been convicted of offences that no longer exist.
Stewart Hosie (MP for Dundee East, SNP's International Trade Spokesman)
Hosie was elected MP for Dundee East in 2005 and then re-elected in 2010, 2015 and most recently, 2017. Hosie's support for LGBT+ policies is historically positive. In 2006, Hosie voted yes on Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations. He was absent for the vote on same-sex marriage in 2013.
However, he voted in favour of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In 2014, he voted in favour of same-sex marriage being available to armed forces personnel outside the UK. To make his support clearer, Hosie has committed to the Scottish LGBTI Equality Pledge.
Angus MacNeil (MP for Na H-Eileanan An Iar)
MacNeil was elected MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar in 2005, and in 2016 he was elected as the first-ever Chair of the International Trade Committee. MacNeil voting history has generally been against LGBT+ equalities. Like Hosie, MacNeil did not vote to allow same-sex marriage in 2013 and was also absent for equal marriage in Northern Ireland in 2019.
Pete Wishart (MP for Perth & North Perthshire)
Wishart is the Member of Parliament for Perth and North Perthshire and was previously the MP for North Tayside from 2001-2005. He is also the SNP's Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and the Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee.
In 2004, he voted to allow mixed-sex marriages, which become same-sex, to remain valid as long as neither party object. In 2013, he was absent from the vote on same-sex marriage; however, he voted in favour of equal marriage in Northern Ireland. Wishart also voted to make same-sex marriage available to armed forces personnel outside the UK.
If you want to find out more about the current SNP and their voting records, including MPs of other parties, visit the helpful website https://www.theyworkforyou.com/. Alternatively, follow us for future educational articles and guides on UK Politics and LGBT+ rights, and hopefully, you can make your own informed choices when voting.