REPRESENTATION AND SUPPORT FOR LGBT+ MEMBERS

The Review has looked at the representation and involvement of LGBT+ members in the
Labour Party and how we improve on the number of LGBT+ candidates.
We have consulted with the socialist society LGBT Labour and held a national LGBT+
consultation event in Birmingham on 10 June. The Labour Party does not hold records of
who our LGBT+ members are so we were unable to hold a specific consultation with LGBT+
members although all Labour Party members who receive emails from the Party were
contacted at least twice about the Review.
Some CLPs have LGBT Officers and some do not. Others have equality officers who take
responsibility for LGBT+ issues along with other equality issues, some do not. London Region
has a LGBT Officer on its Regional Board which is elected at its Regional Conference, most
Regions do not.
Labour has been at the forefront of campaigning for LGBT+ rights and against prejudice in
the UK. Chris Smith MP was the first “out” MP and we now have a LGBT Parliamentary
Labour Party Group. Labour has stood trans candidates but whilst there have been trans
councillors no trans MPs have been elected.
Labour prides itself as being a Party of equality and this Review is looking at what more
needs to be done to ensure that Labour represents the LGBT+ community.
The following have come through as issues in the Review
ORGANISATION AT CLP LEVEL
The Labour Party rule book allows for the creation at CLP women’s and ethnic minority
forum. No such provision exists for LGBT+ forum. Submissions have been received asking for
LGBT+ forums as a way of bringing LGBT+ communities into the Labour Party, ensuring that
there is a safe place to discuss LGBT+ issues, to build links with the LGBT+ community and
ensure that LGBT+ voices are heard. We recommend that rule book provision is made for
LGBT+ forums. Elsewhere in the Review we will be making recommendations in relation to
equality forum organising at CLP level as well as town, city, borough, county or other sub-
regional level and this approach should be adopted in relation to LGBT+ forum.
In many branches and CLPs, a LGBT Officer is currently elected to sit on the branch
Committee or CLP Executive often without voting rights. Where there is a LGBT Officer or
other equality officer who undertakes this role the rule book should provide they have full
voting rights. The creation of LGBT+ Officers should be encouraged.
We will be making recommendations elsewhere in the Report about the kind of support and
training which should be available to all branch and CLP Officers. LGBT+ Officers, like others,
require access to information about their role, contacts, manuals and guidance,
campaigning tool-kits, networks, other LGBT+ Officers both on-line and off-line, training and
political education, information about best practise and successful initiatives elsewhere and
a regional and national point of contact.
ORGANISATION AT A REGIONAL LEVEL

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Much of the responsibility for providing support for LGBT+ on the ground will lie at Regional
level and it is reasonable for elected LGBT+ Officers to have a named contact and networks
at Regional level. We recommend that there be a LGBT+ Officer elected onto each Regional
Board who will have specific responsibility as a political lead for LGBT+ work in the Region.
The LGBT+ Officer should be elected at Regional Conference. The responsibility and remit of
the Regional LGBT+ Officer should be put to and agreed by the NEC. Each Region should be
asked to arrange an annual LGBT+ event to enable LGBT+ members to network and the
LGBT+ Officer on the Regional Board should provide a report to this event. Both formal and
informal networks of both LGBT+ members and LGBT+ Officers should be facilitated by each
Region.
NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND NATIONAL COMMITTEE
There was discussion at the national LGBT+ consultation event as to whether there should
be rule book provision for an annual LGBT+ Conference and an elected Committee. There
were different views at the event and in the submissions received. The socialist society LGBT
Labour do not support an annual Conference and Committee to oversee Labour’s work on
these issues.
We do not recommend an annual national Conference and Committee although we are
aware that there will be LGBT+ members who will want this particularly given the Review’s
recommendations in relation to Women, BAME and Disabled Members. The Review has
however not received submissions supporting this proposal in numbers and there were
different views at the LGBT+ consultation event.
LGBT LABOUR – THE SOCIALIST SOCIETY
LGBT Labour, and their predecessor organisations the Gay Labour Caucus and the Labour
Campaign for Gay Rights, has been in existence since 1975. They say they were the first
party political LGBT+ group in the UK and believe only the second in the world. In 2002 they
affiliated to the Labour Party as a socialist society. Like many socialist societies, their
membership has grown considerably over the last two years and they now have a
membership of just over 2,500 although affiliate a lower number to the Party. They see
themselves as an autonomous arms-length volunteer organisation. They have undertaken
campaigning work over many decades on LGBT+ issues such as Clause 28, the age of
consent, Equal Marriage, the provision of PrEP in the NHS, the reversal of the ban on
“poppers” and a range of international LGBT+ issues. They undertake considerable
fundraising directing money and resources to LGBT+ candidates.
LGBT Labour attend more than 30 Pride events in the UK each year as well as European
Pride events and World Pride. They say that this is the largest part of their engagement with
wider communities. They sign up new members, sell their “Never Kissed A Tory”
merchandise and often gather names on petitions. They attend and arrange other
demonstrations and events on LGBT issues and have hosted Trans “drop-ins” for Labour
MPs to meet trans-activists who could relay their stories and priorities. They work with the
LGBT PLP Group which was formed after the 2017 General Election.
It costs £15 per year to join LGBT Labour with an unwaged/concessions rate of £8.

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LGBT Labour have undertaken extremely important work over many decades. Most LGBT+
members within the Labour Party will of course not be members of LGBT Labour. LGBT
Labour will be the first to appreciate that.
LGBT SURVEY
LGBT Labour carried out a survey of their members to feed into the Democracy Review.
They shared the following responses –
When asked if they would be comfortable with the Labour Party centrally holding data on
their LGBT+ identity, 54.2% said no and 41.9% said yes, with 3.9% saying don’t know.
When asked if they would be comfortable with the Labour Party sharing the data on their
LGBT+ identity with local Labour Parties, 67.2% said no and 25.7% said yes, with 7.1% saying
don’t know.
When asked if they would like to see LGBT Labour remain autonomous or become a section
of the party, 72.3% favoured autonomy and 27.7% favoured us becoming a formal section.
When asked how important it was for their CLP to elect an LGBT+ Officer, 73% said very
important.
When asked if there should be a formal link between LGBT Labour and CLP LGBT+ Officers,
79.4% said yes and 7.7% said no, with the rest saying don’t know.
In their submission LGBT Labour say that they should remain an autonomous organisation
as affiliate to the Labour Party.
They also ask that the Labour Party commit providing financial and administrative support
to grow the work of LGBT Labour. We are looking at socialist societies more generally
elsewhere in the report. We need to look at how LGBT Labour relates to the new CLP based
LGBT + forum, LGBT+ Officer on the new Regional Executive Committees and other work
being done on LGBT+ within the Party. We recognise that different equality groups are
starting in different places. The membership fees to join LGBT Labour will of course be a
barrier to many of our members joining LGBT Labour and getting involved.
DEVELOPING CANDIDATES
The Labour Party currently runs the highly successful Jo Cox Leadership course designed for
women considering standing as candidates and is currently developing the Bernie Grant
Initiative for BAME candidates. We have received submissions asking for a similar course for
LGBT+ candidates and it is recommended that Labour develop a leadership course designed
to encourage and support the LGBT+ community within Labour to put themselves forward
as leaders.

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