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Meet the 21 MPs who opposed LGBTI-inclusive education

Meet the 21 MPs who opposed LGBTI-inclusive education

Gay dad with child

Just 3% of MPs voted against a bill that would make LGBTI sex and relationships mandatory in UK schools yesterday (27 March).

The 21 ‘noes’ included 12 Conservatives, seven DUP members, an independent MP and a single Labour MP.

John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley, was the sole member of the party to vote against the bill.

Around 538 MPs voted for a draft Relationships and Sex Education, that is leaps and bounds ahead of anti-LGBTI legislation such as Section 28.

Who voted ‘no’?

Quite a few Conservative MPs ‘noed’ the bill.

A quick guide to the 21 MPs who voted against LGBTI-inclusive education
A quick guide to the 21 MPs who voted against LGBTI-inclusive education | Picture: Writer’s own

The 12 were: Bob Blackman, Sir Chrisopher Chope, Philip Davies, Charlie Elphicke, Marcus Fysh, James Gray, Philip Hollobone, Ranil Jayawardena, Sir Edward Leigh, Julian Lewis, Matthew Offord and Martin Vickers.

Meanwhile, seven members of the Democratic Union Party (DUP) opposed the bill.

Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Paul Girvan, Gavin Ronbinson, Jim Shannon and Sammy Wilson all voted no.

Finally, independent member Fiona Onasanya voted against it.

What about Spellar?

Spellar was the only Labour MP to oppose the bill.

He first dipped into politics in Northfield, Birmingham. Running as Labour member from 1982 to 1983.

His Parliamentary positions range from Minister of Defence to most recently, the Shadow Minister of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

But, oddly, Spellar’s record on voting for LGBTI bills was, in the past, positive.

How has he voted in the past?

In 2013, he voted in favor of marriage equality. He also voted to appeal the ban on the promotion on homosexuality in schools in 2003.

Moreover, he voted ‘yes’ on the Adoption and Children Bill, granting same-sex couples the right to adopt in 2002.

Spellar even voted favorably in 1998 to reduce the age of consent from 18 to 16 for same-sex couples.

The only blotch on an otherwise spotless record was his absence from a 2014 amendment to enable courts to deal with same-sex divorce and annulment proceedings.

As a result, the reasons as to why he voted against an LGBTI-inclusive curriculum is uncertain.

Gay Star News reached out to Spellar for comment.

LGBT Labour co-chair Melantha Chittenden told Gay Star News: ‘We are appalled and deeply disappointed in John Spellar’s decision to vote against the introduction of LGBT inclusive relationship education.”

‘LGBT inclusive relationship and sex education offers a real opportunity for this country to become a place where LGBT people feel not just tolerated but celebrated for who we are.

‘One of Labour’s proudest achievements is the reversal of Section 28, and no Labour MP in 2019 should be voting to take us back to those dark days.’

See also

Where does the Labour split group of MPs stand on LGBTI issues?

UK admits sex education failing young people in age of porn and sexting

English schools will teach students of all ages about LGBTI relationships