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LGBT Labour

The Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Rights
LGBT Labour logo.jpg
The LGBT Labour Logo.
AbbreviationLGBT Labour
TypeLGBT, Labour
PurposeTo campaign for LGBT rights within the Labour movement and for Labour within the LGBT community
HeadquartersPO Box 306, London, N5 2SY
Region served
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Melantha Chittenden & Heather Peto
Main organ
National Committee[1]
AffiliationsLabour Party
Part of a series on
LGBT rights
in the United Kingdom
The Union Flag
By location
Policy aspects
Nuvola LGBT flag.svg LGBT portal

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 marked the 40th anniversary of the organisation.[3]


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]


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.

LGBT Labour is affiliated to Rainbow Rose[6] 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.[7]


LGBT Labour invites out LGBT politicians from the Westminster Parliament, European Parliament, the UK's devolved bodies and directly elected mayors to act as patrons of the campaign.[8] The current patrons are:


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[9] in Manchester.[10] In 1978, the name was changed, first to the Labour Campaign for Gay Rights, and later to the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[11]

In 2002, the Campaign became a socialist society and thus affiliated to the Labour Party.[12] 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 three 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 who are not full members of the Labour Party are able to vote in some party elections alongside other socialist societies members by registering as an affiliated supporter.[13]

In 2006, the society also published Peter Purton's book Sodom, Gomorrah and the New Jerusalem: Labour and Lesbian and Gay Rights from Edward Carpenter to today which documented the lobbying, campaigning and alliance building which led to the legal reforms of 1997.[14]

Elections & The Chris Smith List

Chris Smith, the first openly gay British MP. LGBT Labour supports LGBT parliamentary candidates with a campaign fund named the Chris Smith List after him.

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[15]) for which an annual fundraising dinner is held.[16] 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[17] 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.[18][failed verification]

The Chris Smith List continues and was used for the 2015 general election.[19] A total of £25,000 was raised for the 2015 general election with money being distributed to 27 36 LGBT Labour Party candidates – money was not provided to the nine sitting out Labour MPs.[20]

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.[21]

An LGBT manifesto was also produced, jointly with the Labour Party, for the 2015 general election.[22] This was launched in Brighton by Angela Eagle and Amy Lame shortly after the main Labour manifesto,[23] which was subsequently endorsed by Ian McKellen.[24] For the snap 2017 general election, a series of policy proposals were published and LGBT Labour worked with the Party front bench and NEC to ensure that there was a number of pledges in the Party's manifesto.

A leaflet campaign was also run targeting gay bars across the country in 2010 as well as a campaigning in key seats; especially those with gay and lesbian MPs. Since 2010, this format has continued with campaigning for gay candidates in council elections and the European elections. A programme of election campaigning was carried out for the 2015 general election, with both local campaign days and phone banks.

Labour leadership elections

During the 2010 Labour leadership election 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. This was a process repeated in the 2015 leadership and deputy leadership elections.[25] A series of questions were sent to all candidates asked by LGBT Labour members and readers of PinkNews.[26] During the leadership campaign LGBT Labour received promises on a number of LGBT issues most notably on support for gay marriage.[27]

Significant achievements

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).[28][failed verification]

In 2008 LGBT Labour submitted[failed verification] a rule change to add gender identity to the discrimination policies of the Labour Party rule book. It was carried by 98.43%[29]


LGBT Labour marching at Birmingham Pride 2012

LGBT Labour attend Prides every summer including London, Brighton and Manchester Prides, where they commonly use the slogan "Never kissed a Tory".[30] During the year regular events are held from fundraisers to social nights.

LGBT Labour is also active at the annual Labour Party conference every autumn with a stall in the conference exhibition area. They hold a Saturday night social at the start of Labour conference every year,[31] originally launched in 2006 under the name 'The Only Party in the Village',[32] and an annual fringe meeting with Stonewall.

Sister political groups

Sister organisations around the world:

See also


  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. ^ "Member Structures". Rainbow Rose.
  7. ^ "Members". ILGA-Europe. Archived from the original on 2014-06-25.
  8. ^ "Patrons". LGBT Labour.
  9. ^ "Gay Labour Group". People's History Museum.
  10. ^ "Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LGBT Labour)". Database of Archives of Non-Government Organisations.
  11. ^ "History". LGBT Labour.
  12. ^ "Affiliated Organisations". Labour Party.
  13. ^ []
  14. ^ Purton, Peter (13 October 2006). Sodom, Gomorrah and the New Jerusalem: Labour and Lesbian and Gay Rights from Edward Carpenter to Today. LGBT Labour. ISBN 978-0951380710.
  15. ^ "History of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality". Stonewall.
  16. ^ "Chris Smith Dinner 2013". LGBT Labour. 25 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Dorothy's List". LGBT Labour. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
  18. ^ "PPCs". LGBT Labour. Archived from the original on 15 February 2010.
  19. ^ "The Chris Smith List". LGBT Labour.
  20. ^ []
  21. ^ "Gay Labour manifesto promises Europe-wide recognition of civil partnerships". Pink News. 21 April 2010.
  22. ^ []
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2015-04-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ []
  25. ^ []
  26. ^ "Put your gay rights questions to the Labour leadership candidates". Pink News. 16 August 2010.
  27. ^ "Labour leadership candidates admit party's gay rights failures". Pink News. 16 August 2010.
  28. ^ "Equality Bill published today". Pink News. 27 April 2009.
  29. ^ "Labour party votes overwhelmingly for trans inclusion". Pink News.
  30. ^ []
  31. ^ "The Only Party In The Village". LGBT Labour.
  32. ^ "Conference blog: Ministers attend Canal St party". Pink News. 21 September 2008.