LGBT Labour

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The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Rights
LGBT Labour logo.jpg
The LGBT Labour Logo.
Abbreviation LGBT Labour
Motto "Only Labour Can Delivery Equality"
Formation 1975
Type LGBT, Labour
Purpose To campaign for LGBT rights within the Labour movement and for Labour within the LGBT community
Headquarters PO Box 306, London, N5 2SY
Region served United Kingdom United Kingdom
Co-chairs Tom Burke & Cllr Bev Craig
Main organ National Committee[1]
Affiliations Labour Party

LGBT Labour, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, is a socialist society[2] affiliated to the Labour Party. Its purpose is to campaign within the Labour Party and wider Labour movement to promote the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities, as well as to encourage members of the LGBT community to support the Labour Party.


Membership is primarily made up of members of the Labour Party and trade unionists. Membership is also open to non-members of the Labour Party, as long as they are not members of another political party.[3]

LGBT Labour is run by an elected national committee[4] which is elected every year at its annual general meeting.[5] LGBT Labour also has a number of regional groups to carry out its work in those areas, which have their own smaller committees to run them, also democratically elected. LGBT Labour has no staff members and all committee members are volunteers.

The LGBT Labour AGM also agrees its policy positions as well as identifying the work programme for the National Committee.

There are regional groups for the north west, London and the south east, west midlands, Yorkshire & the Humber, east midlands and the south west. Convenors are elected to run the Scottish and Welsh campaigns. The small committees for the regional groups are elected at their own local AGMs. These groups carry out LGBT Labour's work on a local basis and also campaign on local issues.


LGBT Labour also works with the wider Labour movement and accepts affiliations from trades unions, co-ops, local Labour parties, university Labour groups and local trades union branches.

Labour Students are affiliated to LGBT Labour along with a number of national trades unions including: Community, CWU, GMB, Unison, Unite and USDAW

LGBT Labour is affiliated to Rainbow Rose the LGBT group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats which brings to the LGBT groups of the centre left parties in European Union countries. They are also affiliated to ILGA_Europe.


LGBT Labour invites out LGBT politicians from the Westminster Parliament, European Parliament and the UK's devolved bodies to act as patrons of the campaign.[6] The current patrons are:


The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights is the successor to the Gay Labour Group. The Gay Labour Group was set up in 1975. After the October 1974 general election a group of gay Labour activists got together to discuss and plan establishing Labour Party gay rights group. One of the group's first banners is currently displayed at the People's History Museum[7] in Manchester and one of its founder members, John Gallagher, now an Ealing councillor, remains involved with the group to this day.

In 1978 the name was changed to the Labour Campaign for Gay Rights and was subsequently changed to the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The Constitution was also amended in 2004 to allow the organisation to include transgender members as part of its remit. In 2007, the organisation voted to change its name to the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights to better reflect its concern for issues affecting all of the LGBT community. At this time, it was decided that the organisation would use LGBT Labour as its short name rather than using the newly longer initialism and a new logo reflecting the change was launched.

In 2002 the Campaign became a socialist society and affiliated to the Labour Party. As a Socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party the organisation has the right to submit motions and send a delegate to the Labour Party Conference, participate in Party structures including electing 3 members of the National Policy Forum and a representative to the National Executive Committee (NEC). Since 2012 LGBT Labour has been entitled to directly elect a representative to the National Policy Forum in its own right. Members are able to vote in Party elections alongside other socialist societies and members of affiliated trade unions who pay the political levy.

In 2006 Dr Peter Purton, a former chair of the group, wrote a history of the Labour party's attitude and role to gay rights since its formation, including the role of Labour's LGBT group called "Sodom, Gomorrah and the New Jerusalem: Labour and Lesbian and Gay Rights from Edward Carpenter to Today”

Elections & The Chris Smith List[edit]

For the 2010 general election LGBT Labour established a campaign fund called Dorothy’s List to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans candidates Labour parliamentary candidates. This fund continues for other elections and has since been renamed The Chris Smith List in honour of the first openly gay MP in the UK Parliament. The campaign fund draws its inspiration from Emily's List in the US.

An initial fundraising target of £2,000 was set, later raised to £5,000. The final fund was in excess of £12,000[8] and the money was distributed amongst 28 LGBT parliamentary candidates[9] with a money being focused on candidates in marginal seats. There was also extra money provided to support women candidates, acknowledging all political parties have shortage of representation of lesbian and bisexual women.

LGBT Labour also produced an LGBT manifesto for the 2010 general election with the Labour Party launching the document in Soho with the party's Deputy leader Harriet Harman and the then Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.[10]

A leaflet campaign was also run targeting gay bars across the country in 2010 as well as a campaigning days in key seats, especially those with gay and lesbian MPs. Since 2010 this format has continue with campaigning for out candidates in council elections and the European elections.

General Election 2015[edit]

LGBT Labour has been actively campaigning to increase the number of LGBT candidates standing for Labour in 2015. In particular to increase the number of candidates in winnable seat and the number of out women. The campaign does not get involved in internal elections or by supporting individual candidates in internal selections but does provide support and advice and training across the board to LGBT members.[citation needed]

LGBT Labour has been involved in the Labour Party's internal programme to broaden its candidate base, the Future Candidates Programme [11][dead link] to ensure LGBT participation.

So far the results have been strong[according to whom?] with twenty out candidates selected alongside the sitting MPs, this includes Emily Brother's Labour's first trans Parliamentary candidate. Candidates selected so far are:

Labour leadership election[edit]

During the Labour leadership election of 2010 LGBT Labour decided not to endorse any candidate but use the opportunity to lobby all candidates on LGBT issues, a process that had previously been used during the deputy labour leadership election in 2007. A series of questions were sent to all candidates asked by LGBT Labour members and readers of[31] During the leadership campaign LGBT Labour got promises on a number of LGBT issues most notably on support for gay marriage.[32] During the campaign Ed Miliband (now Labour leader) also joined LGBT Labour on the Manchester Pride parade.[33]

Significant achievements[edit]

The most significant[according to whom?] achievements of LGBT Labour have included a number of motions carried at the Labour Party Conference. The most recent of these was a Contemporary resolution at the 2005 Party Conference on the inclusion of sexual orientation in the protections against discrimination in goods, facilities and services in the Equality Bill then going through Parliament (later to become the Equality Act 2006).[34]

Whilst LGBT Labour has had occasion to highlight lack of progress of the UK Labour government towards achieving full equality for LGBT people the period of office of the Labour government between 1997 and 2010 saw numerous improvements in legislation such as the repeal of section 28, the equalisation of the age of consent for gay men, the introduction of Civil Parnerships for same sex couples, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the promise of measures to combat discrimination in field of goods, facilities and services.[35][dead link]

LGBT Labour submitted a rule change to add gender identity to the discrimination policies of the Labour Party rule book. It was carried by 98.43%[36]


LGBT Labour marching at Birmingham Pride 2012

LGBT Labour attend Prides across the Britain every summer with a significant presence at London, Brighton and Manchester Prides where they are the biggest party political group involved. During the year regular events are held from fundraising events to social events.

LGBT Labour is also active at the annual Labour Party conference ever autumn with a place on the Socialist Societies stall in the conference exhibition area. They hold the big Saturday night social at the start of Labour conference every year. It was orhginally launched in 2006 under the name 'The Only Party in the Village'. An annual fringe meeting with Stonewall[37]

An annual fundraising dinner is held called The Chris Smith Dinner.[38] It is named after the first MP to come out, Chris Smith (now a peer and patron of the campaign). Money raised from this dinner goes to the Chris Smith List; a campaign fund used to support Labour Parliamentary candidates who are openly L, G, B or T.

See also[edit]

Sister political groups around the world:


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