Some of my followers asked for this, finding it difficult to share twitter threads or my wider post on why you shouldn’t be fooled into voting Lib Dem.
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.
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6 thoughts on “Tim Farron’s homophobic and anti-choice voting history, in easily-shareable format”
Reblogged this on KaraTheValkyrie.
Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.
I’m really surpised by this, considering he’s a Lib Dem. All I can think is he’s not wanting to force anyone to do anything they disagree with on moral or religious grounds etc and that’s kinda admirable, but registrars are employees of the state, the law is the law, they don’t (can they refuse a heterosexual couple) refuse to marry heterosexual couples, so to treat same sex couple differently, wouldn be treating same sex couples differently, so I’m fine with them not wanting to marry same sex couples if it goes aainst their beliefs, but then I think they should be given the gift of their P45 if they refuse to marry same sex couples. Mind, if someone has that attitiude, would you want them to be the one performing the ceremony?
He’s a Lib Dem, yes, but he’s also a religious conservative–in this context, it all makes perfect sense. But like you say, the job’s the job, and it should be same-sex couples having the right to turn down a homophobe rather than the other way round.
I agree with your criticism re officiating marriages (or rather, I think Farron was wrong to vote the way he did), but on the issue you describe as “homophobic hate speech” (Protection of freedom of expression (sexual orientation)) Farron’s view is a perfectly respectable liberal position:
It’s perfectly legitimate to disagree with and deplore homophobic views and still believe that it isn’t the state’s business to punish those who hold them (i.e. the position expressed in the quotation frequently attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”). If anything, protecting freedom of speech is a classic liberal position.
Thus I think it’s unfair to describe his vote in this case as evidence of homophobia.
So, if that’s the case, why isn’t Tim also voting with, say, Philip Davies on rights to misogyny? Why isn’t Tim voting to protect racial hate crimes?
it’s almost as if he just has a problem with gays