First off, yes I know Theresa May and most Tories are worse. Don’t vote for them.
But because loads of people are annoyed at Labour right now for various reasons, reasonable people are considering voting Liberal Democrat, forgiving them for their coalition with the Tories where they broke all their promises and screwed over students and everyone else. So when the Lib Dem leader Tim Farron got caught out this week again for having difficulty answering (refusing to answer) the question of whether he thought homosexuality was a sin (the next day in Parliament he said ‘no’ to this question finally…), loads of people jumped to his defence to say that whatever his religious beliefs, he had a good voting record on LGBT rights. This was because in his interview he said he was all for LGBT rights and equality, and when you look on TheyWorkForYou, it says he’s ‘mostly’ voted in favour of gay rights. Also the Lib Dem LGBT person put out a Huffpost article saying how great he was with LGBT rights stuff.
But dig deeper for the truth.
- He voted against the Equality Act on the part banning discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.
- He voted in favour (three times!) of allowing (homophobic) registrars to refuse to marry same sex couples on religious grounds. (See Stavvers’ blog here for the breakdown of these three various awful related amendments)
- When the above bill failed (went against him), he was absent from the third and final reading on same sex marriage. Yeah he’d voted in favour of the bill before this, but stepped out of play once homophobic religious registrars weren’t allowed to refuse.
- He voted that hate speech on the basis of sexual orientation should not be considered hate speech.
- He voted in favour of a bill to reduce the abortion time limit from 24 weeks to 21 weeks.
- He voted in favour of a bill that would force women seeking abortion to have “counselling”, even if their minds were made up and they didn’t want any counselling, before being allowed to terminate their pregnancy from their own wombs. The same bill that he supported would also have forced women to have their abortion delayed “to think about it”, which would cause trauma to women who want to end the pregnancy as soon as possible.
- He was absent on 12 votes about abortion rights (you’ll have to scan for the word abortion here), some to increase our access to abortion and some which threatened our existing rights. E.g. the vote to decriminalise abortion in the UK, the vote to give Scottish parliament rights to decide on their own abortion laws.
- He voted against opening civil partnerships up to all couples.
- He was absent on a vote to delay the increase to women’s retirement age.
- He was absent on the tampon tax vote.
- He was absent from all the votes on the Istanbul convention to improve protection for women against domestic violence.
- He voted to call on the Government to ensure women and protected groups are not disproportionately impacted by tax and benefit changes (YAY) BUT AGAINST publication of a gender equality strategy to improve the position of women.
- He voted against limiting the detention of pregnant women to only the most exceptional circumstances (BOO), but for limiting detention to 72 hours unless longer is authorised personally by the Secretary of State (better than nothing I guess).
There’s probably more that I’ve missed when just searching keywords on his whole voting record here but I’m hungry now so am off out to get food.
PS, Vote Labour. Here’s Corbyn’s voting record. Maybe I should do a comparison at some point…