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
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
Website www.lgbtlabour.org.uk/

LGBT Labour, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, is a socialist society[2] affiliated to the Labour Party in the United Kingdom. Originally called the Gay Labour Group,[3] the stated purpose of this organisation is to campaign within the Labour Party and wider Labour movement to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, as well as to encourage members of the LGBT community to support the Labour Party.

2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the organisation.[3]

Organisation[edit]

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.[4]

LGBT Labour is run by an elected national committee which is elected every year at its annual general meeting.[1] 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.[5]

Affiliates[edit]

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, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), GMB, Unison, Unite and the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW).[6]

LGBT Labour is affiliated to Rainbow Rose[7] 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.[8]

Patrons[edit]

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.[9] The current patrons are:

History[edit]

LGBT Labour is the successor to the Gay Labour Group.[3] The Gay Labour Group, sometimes referred to as the Gay Labour Caucus was set up in 1975 and one of the group's first banners is currently displayed at the People's History Museum[10] in Manchester.[11] In 1978 the name was changed first to the Labour Campaign for Gay Rights and later the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[12]

In 2002 the Campaign became a socialist society and affiliated to the Labour Party.[13] As a socialist society, 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.[citation needed]

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 (after Chris Smith the first British MP to come out as gay whilst in office in 1984[14]) for which an annual fund-raising dinner is held.[15] 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[16] and the money was distributed amongst 28 LGBT parliamentary candidates with 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.[17][not in citation given]

The Chris Smith List continues and is being used for the 2015 election.[18] A total of £25,000 was raised for the 2015 election with money being distributed to 27 of Labour's 36 LGBT candidates - money was not provided to the nine sitting out Labour MPs.[19]

LGBT Labour 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.[20]

An LGBT manifesto was also produced, jointly with the Labour Party, for the 2015 general election.[21] This was launched in Brighton by Angela Eagle and Amy Lame shortly after the main Labour manifesto,[22] which was subsequently endorsed by Sir Ian McKellan.[23]

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 continued with campaigning for out candidates in council elections and the European elections. A programme of election campaigning is being carried out for the 2015 general election with both local campaign days and phone banks.

Labour leadership election 2010[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 PinkNews.com[24] During the leadership campaign LGBT Labour received promises on a number of LGBT issues most notably on support for gay marriage.[25]

Significant achievements[edit]

LGBT Labour has been able, working with unions and constituency Labour parties, to ensure included a number of motions were carried at the Labour Party Conference. The most recent of these As of 2005 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).[26][not in citation given]

In 2008 LGBT Labour submitted[not in citation given] a rule change to add gender identity to the discrimination policies of the Labour Party rule book. It was carried by 98.43%[27]

Events[edit]

LGBT Labour marching at Birmingham Pride 2012

LGBT Labour attend Prides every summer including London, Brighton and Manchester Prides. During the year regular events are held from fundraising events to social events.

LGBT Labour is also active at the annual Labour Party conference every autumn with a place on the Socialist Societies stall in the conference exhibition area. They hold a Saturday night social at the start of Labour conference every year,[28] originally launched in 2006 under the name 'The Only Party in the Village',[29] and an annual fringe meeting with Stonewall.

Sister political groups[edit]

Sister organisations around the world:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Committee". LGBT Labour. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Affiliates". Labour Party. 
  3. ^ a b c Burke, Tom; Craig, Bev (25 July 2014). "The Equality Countdown to 2015". Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Join". LGBT Labour. 
  5. ^ "Regions and Nations". LGBT Labour. 
  6. ^ "Affiliates". LGBT Labour. 
  7. ^ "Member Structures". Rainbow Rose. 
  8. ^ "Members". ILGA-Europe. 
  9. ^ "Patrons". LGBT Labour. 
  10. ^ "Gay Labour Group". People's History Museum. 
  11. ^ "Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LGBT Labour)". Database of Archives of Non-Government Organisations. 
  12. ^ "History". LGBT Labour. 
  13. ^ "Affiliated Organisations". Labour Party. 
  14. ^ "History of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality". Stonewall. 
  15. ^ "Chris Smith Dinner 2013". LGBT Labour. 25 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dorothy's List". LGBT Labour. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "PPCs". LGBT Labour. Archived from the original on 15 February 2010. 
  18. ^ "The Chris Smith List". LGBT Labour. 
  19. ^ http://www.lgbtlabour.org.uk/25000_raised_for_general_election_candidates
  20. ^ "Gay Labour manifesto promises Europe-wide recognition of civil partnerships". Pink News. 21 April 2010. 
  21. ^ http://www.lgbtlabour.org.uk/manifesto
  22. ^ http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/Interact/Blogs.aspx?articleid=14739&sectionid=798
  23. ^ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/04/22/sir-ian-mckellen-makes-surprise-endorsement-of-labours-lgbt-manifesto/
  24. ^ "Put your gay rights questions to the Labour leadership candidates". Pink News. 16 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "Labour leadership candidates admit party's gay rights failures". Pink News. 16 August 2010. 
  26. ^ "Equality Bill published today". Pink News. 27 April 2009. 
  27. ^ "Labour party votes overwhelmingly for trans inclusion". Pink News. 
  28. ^ "The Only Party In The Village". LGBT Labour. 
  29. ^ "Conference blog: Ministers attend Canal St party". Pink News. 21 September 2008.