Now Reading
Where do Theresa May’s rivals for Prime Minister stand on LGBTI issues?

Where do Theresa May’s rivals for Prime Minister stand on LGBTI issues?

LGBTI rights voting record

If Theresa May is ousted as Prime Minister of the UK, several political rivals could take the position. Unfortunately, many of these people have a terrible record on LGBTI rights.

A politician can make or break the life of LGBTI people. Some have fought for years for the community’s rights and passed laws that protect us, others have done nothing but fight against them. People like Jacob Rees Mogg continue to speak out against us.

Brexit isn’t just something that will affect every day people in the UK, it’ll also affect politicians. The people pushing for a hard Brexit are likely to gain a lot of political capital should it happen. With Theresa May’s Premiership holding on by a thread, hard-line Brexiteers are gunning for the top position in the country.

Many of these figures have some of the worst voting records of any MPs in Parliament for LGBTI rights. Their actions speak for themselves.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset

Jacob Rees-Mogg LGBTI rights
Photo: Chris McAndrew, Wikimedia Commons

Despite being a backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg is one of the most famous Conservative politicians. He’s become a darling in public life thanks to his ‘eccentric’ personality. But behind the Tweets in Latin and appearances on Have I Got News For You is a man vocal in his opposition to LGBTI rights.

According to Mogg on Good Morning Britain in 2017, the ‘teachings of the Catholic Church are very clear’ when it comes to same-sex marriage. ‘This is not how people arrange their lives.’ He told his supporters he’s ‘not proud that this government passed [same-sex marriage] into law’.

When questioned on his religious convictions on the BBC’s Daily Politics, he said: ‘You’re saying that tolerance only goes so far, and that you shouldn’t be tolerant of the teaching of the Catholic Church. So isn’t this stretching into religious bigotry?’

At University in Oxford, he claimed same-sex relationships were not in ‘acceptance of traditional Christian values’, according to Political Scrapbook.

His reactionary views aren’t limited to LGBTI people, however. His class views became clear when he referred to non-Oxbridge, non-privately educated people as ‘potted plants’.

The MP met with white supremacist and alt-right mastermind Steve Bannon. He also gave a speech at the annual dinner of the Traditional Britain Group (TBG). This group stated that Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, and ‘millions of others’ should be ‘returned to their homeland’. Mogg has since distanced himself from their views, but he was warned by anti-fascist group Searchlight before his speech about their racist opinions. He spoke anyway.

Mogg’s Catholic views affect reproductive rights, too: he insisted on Good Morning Britain that he is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape.

Voting record: voted against

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – Second and Third Reading (2013): voted against

Same Sex Marriage – Enabling Courts to Deal with Divorce or Annulment Proceedings (2014): voted against

Make Same Sex Marriage Available to Armed Forced Personnel Outside the United Kingdom (2014): voted against

Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip

Boris Johnson LGBTI rights
Photo: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency, Wikimedia Commons

Generally, Boris Johnson has voted for gay rights. But his history is checkered, to say the least. Before he was an MP, he wrote in a Spectator article in 2000: ‘Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it.’

Johnson compared same-sex marriage to bestiality in his 2001 book Friends, Voters, Countrymen: ‘If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.’

Then, in a 1998 Telegraph column, he said the resignation of Peter Mandelson would lead to ‘tank-topped bumboys’ blubbing in their beer.

Johnson adamantly defended the appointment of Toby Young as universities adviser earlier this year. Young has written in the past calling George Clooney ‘queer as a coot’ and referred to lesbians he encountered as ‘hardcore dykes’.

In a column for The Telegraph in 1997, Johnson described a female attendee to the Labour Party Conference as a ‘hot totty’. He was 33-years-old when he wrote it.

Voting record: voted for 

Local Government Bill — Maintain Prohibition on Promotion of Homosexuality (Section 28) (2003): voted against

Civil Partnership Bill [Lords] (2004): voted for

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, MP for South West Surrey

Jeremy Hunt LGBTI voting record
Photo: Ted Eytan, Flickr

Unlike the last two, Jeremy Hunt has a good history with LGBTI rights. However, he was heavily criticized during his time as Health Secretary by doctors, nurses and health professionals due to under-funding of the NHS and privatization of some of its services.

Privatization of the NHS would be disastrous for the whole country, including LGBTI people. Mental health services even harder to access. Services for trans people would be even more expensive.

Voting record: voted mostly for 

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2007): voted for

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill — Second and Third Reading (2013): voted for

Same Sex Marriage — Enabling Courts to Deal with Divorce or Annulment Proceedings (2014): voted for

Make Same Sex Marriage Available to Armed Forces Personnel Outside the United Kingdom (2014): voted for

Dr Liam Fox, The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, MP for North Somerset

Liam Fox LGBTI voting record
Photo: Chris McAndrew, Wikimedia Commons

Liam Fox’s position as International Trade Secretary becomes much more important if Brexit happens, as he will be responsible for creating new trade deals with the rest of the world. This makes his views on LGBTI people worrying.

At university, Liam Fox was embroiled in a scandal as part of the Glasgow University Student’s Union. In 1982, they denied an application for a gay society, which caused many other Student Unions to cut ties with them.

During an interview at the time, he said: ‘I’m actually quite liberal when it comes to sexual matters. I just don’t want the gays flaunting it in front of me, which is what they would do.’

In 2008, he commented on his homophobic past: ‘Fortunately most of us have progressed from the days when we were students more than a quarter of a century ago.’

This isn’t reflected in his voting patterns.

Voting record: voted against, or absent

Adoption and Children Bill — Suitability Of Adopters (2002): voted against

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill — Second and Third Reading (2013): voted against

Same Sex Marriage – Enabling Courts to Deal with Divorce or Annulment Proceedings (2014): voted against

Make Same Sex Marriage Available to Armed Forced Personnel Outside the United Kingdom (2014): voted against

Justine Greening, MP for Putney

Justine Greening LGBTI voting records
Photo: DFID – UK Department for International Development, Flickr

Justine Greening is an out gay woman and an advocate for LGBTI rights. While she doesn’t hold a cabinet position and doesn’t attract the same media circus as Mogg and Johnson, Greening is ambitious and has potential as a future leader.

Voting record: voted mostly for

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill — Second and Third Reading (2013): voted for

Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, MP for Runnymede and Weybridge

Phillip Hammond LGBTI voting record
Photo: Suzanne Plunkett, Flickr

The Chancellor has mostly voted against LGBTI rights. The two bills he voted for were simple extensions of the Same Sex Couples Bill, which was already passed into law. When Parliament debated the Bill, he claimed there was ‘no huge demand’ for same-sex marriage.

Voting record: voted mostly against

Crime and Disorder Bill — Reduction of Age of Consent for Homosexual Acts to 16 (1998): voted against

Adoption and Children Bill — Suitability Of Adopters (2002): voted against

Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill (2013): absent

Same Sex Marriage – Enabling Courts to Deal with Divorce or Annulment Proceedings (2014): voted for

Make Same Sex Marriage Available to Armed Forced Personnel Outside the United Kingdom (2014): voted for

Sajid Javid, The Secretary of State for the Home Department, MP for Bromsgrove 

Secretary_of_State_for_Culture_Media_and_Sport_Sajid_Javid
Photo: Creative Britain, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Wikimedia Commons

Sajid Javid has shot into the political spotlight recently. He voted Remain in the 2016 referendum but has since become a Brexit supporter. Generally, Sajid Javid is a supporter of LGBTI rights.

Voting record: voted for

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill (2013): voted for

Gavin Williamson, The Secretary of State of Defense, MP for South Staffordshire

Gavin Williamson LGBTI rights
Photo: Chris McAndrew, Wikimedia Commons

Gavin Williamson was thrust into the spotlight by his surprise appointment as Secretary of Defense. He’s not likely to be a candidate for leadership. However, his negative voting record and cabinet position makes him worrying.

Voting record: voted against

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill — Second and Third Reading (2013): voted against

Same Sex Marriage – Enabling Courts to Deal with Divorce or Annulment Proceedings (2014): voted against

Make Same Sex Marriage Available to Armed Forced Personnel Outside the United Kingdom (2014): voted against

Voting source: TheyWorkForYou

More from Gay Star News: 

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/bi-italian-living-in-the-uk-explains-why-this-brexit-deal-is-so-terrifying/

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/lgbtis-have-the-power-to-get-a-peoples-vote-and-stop-brexit/

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/peoples-vote-march/