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This is how Corbyn, Johnson and Swinson voted on major LGBT issues and legislation

Nick Duffy November 25, 2019
Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson (C), Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (R) and Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson (C), Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (R) and Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of the general election, we look at how the major party leaders’ records in parliament compare on LGBT+ issues.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson all present themselves as pro-LGBT+ politicians.

However, what do their records in parliament say?

Conservative leader Boris Johnson became an MP in 2001, and rebelled against his party on a number of occasions to support LGBT+ rights, most notably supporting the abolition of Section 28 in 2003.

He was also among a small number of Tory MPs to introduction of the Civil Partnerships for same-sex couples in 2004, as well as backing the Gender Recognition Act. However, Johnson did not join other Tory rebels in backing the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, which introduced discrimination protections for gay people.

Johnson publicly supported the introduction of same-sex marriage in 2013, though he was not an MP at the time. However, after rejoining Parliament, he went on to abstain on the extension of same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland in 2019.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who has been in parliament the longest of the three leaders, has the most straightforward record of the three leaders – having unwaveringly voted in favour of LGBT+ rights at every instance since he first became an MP in 1983.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (Jonathan Hordle//ITV via Getty Images)

He backed the equal age of consent, civil partnerships and the introduction of same-sex marriage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson became an MP in 2005, meaning she was not serving in Parliament at the time of many early reforms.

However, her later votes illustrate a strong support for equality, backing the Equality Act and equal marriage, which she also voted to extend it to Northern Ireland.

Equal age of consent (2000).

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Not an MP

Jo Swinson: Not an MP

Abolition of Section 28 (2003).

Jeremy Corbyn: Absent

Boris Johnson: Yes (rebelling against his own party)

Jo Swinson: Not an MP

Civil Partnerships Act (2004).

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Yes

Jo Swinson: Not an MP

Gender Recognition Act (2004).

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Yes

Jo Swinson: Not an MP

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2007).

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Abstain

Jo Swinson: Yes

Same-sex marriage (2013).

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Not an MP

Jo Swinson: Yes

Same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland (2019).,

Jeremy Corbyn: Yes

Boris Johnson: Abstain

Jo Swinson: Yes

More: Boris Johnson, General Election 2019, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo swinson

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