Now, Tim Farron has done a sterling job of masking his tendencies in his voting record, and votes against the interests of LGBT people, or anyone with a uterus, in a rather sneaky fashion. It doesn’t show up on those basic “this MP is in favour of equality” aggregators, because he covers it up by making himself scarce during key votes, or by voting on amendments. It took a bit of digging to pull the receipts here, and there may be some things I’ve missed. If you think I have, please leave a comment!
During the marriage equality programme back in 2013, Tim Farron voted for several homophobic amendments.
- To allow registrars not to carry out same sex marriages if they object to them on the basis of sincerely held religious or other beliefs. This, you might notice, is how in some US states, religious bigots are getting around same-sex marriage laws. Tim Farron voted for this same process to be applied over here.
- To strengthen protections for those not wishing to conduct or participate in a religious marriage ceremony due to it being a marriage of a same sex couple. No consequences for those homophobic registrars, if they don’t get their “conscientious objection” clause!
- To make discrimination on the basis of an individual’s beliefs regarding the definition of marriage illegal. Religious bigotry, Tim voted, should be a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
That last one, incidentally, is not dissimilar to a vote back in 2008, where Tim Farron voted to protect homophobic hate as “freedom of speech“. The list of things Tim wanted protected looked incredibly similar to the list of tactics religious homophobes like to use.
Now, let’s have a look at where Tim makes himself scarce. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act brought reproductive and fertility rights to people in same-sex relationships. Tim Farron mostly stayed well away from this, although we know he wasn’t on holiday or in a coma throughout the process, because he voted against laying out a timetable for the bill.
Tim Farron’s general policy towards abortion has been to make himself scarce and abstain or not turn up at all. That’s probably wise, because when he does vote, he votes for reducing the time limit.
So. Be very critical when you see journalists claiming his voting record is fine. They clearly haven’t bothered researching the topic adequately. Tim Farron did a reasonably good job in covering his tracks; to the extent that a follower of mine notes searches for “Farron” and “amendment” has hidden results under the right to be forgotten. Nonetheless, it’s there. And now you have the receipts.
Edit 22/4/17: Beth Granter has assembled a list, containing, more thoroughly, further evidence of anti-abortion and homophobic voting, including pre-abortion “counselling”, and yet more protections for homophobes. Oh, and documents his conspicuous absences on a lot of votes on women’s issues.