Rishi Sunak slammed after sharing support for same-sex marriage. He’s never voted for it

Prime minister Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has been lambasted for sharing support for same-sex marriage – despite the fact he has never voted for it.

On Monday (17 July), the PM wrote a message of support for same-sex marriage, stating that he is proud the Conservatives extended marriage to same-sex couples in 2013. 

The tweet was shared to mark the 10th anniversary of legislation being passed in parliament to permit same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

However, Sunak’s voting record shows he has generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights, and has never voted in favour of equal gay rights.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 24 January 2013. It became law on 17 July that year, in a move that was welcomed in columns for PinkNews at the time by then-PM David Cameronand the leaders of the other two main parties Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

But, a look at Sunak’s voting record shows he has never voted on allowing marriage between same-sex couples.

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At a vote for the marriage of same-sex couples in Northern Ireland in 2019 Sunak was absent, the independent charity, TheyWorkForYou, claims.

Social media users were quick to share this detail in comments on Sunak’s Twitter post.

Many highlighted his TheyWorkForYou voting record.

Another commented that, despite Sunak’s support for the changes in law brought by the party, 136 Conservatives, many who are still in government positions, voted against the bill. 

“You have a nerve, prime minister. In my opinion, you are the most anti-LGBTQ+ holder of the office in many years. Your actions since becoming PM demonstrate your homophobia and transphobia,” another comment read. 

A recent leaked video, shared with PinkNews, showed Sunak make mocking comments about trans women. 

A different comment noted that “these are just words” and the LGBTQ+ community demands action. 

Under Tory governments, the Conversion Therapy Bill, which would outlaw most forms of the practice, has been delayed for years.

MPs have criticised the delay, with shadow women and equalities minister, Anneliese Dodds, speaking out to say it had been 1,835 days since the government first promised to ban the practice under Theresa May’s premiership. 

“That’s longer than it takes to make a good bill. It’s longer than it took to build the Empire State Building and The Shard put together,” the Labour MP said. 

Meanwhile, a policy that is expected to be released this week could out trans children to their family members. 

Leaked government policy guidance last month suggests that UK schools will be barred from letting pupils socially transition without permission from parents or guardian, effectively outing them, and this week, equalities minister Kemi Badenoch issued the strongest hint yet that the UK government will force teachers to out trans kids to their parents. 

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