Lesbian Labour wrote to LGBT+ Labour in July asking if we could have a dialogue or meeting about the experience of Lesbians in the Labour Party and whether we could work together on any of the issues that had been raised with us. It took months before we received the reply which was headed with “We will not be meeting you”.
LGBT+ Labour is an official Affiliated Member of the Labour Party; it claims to meet the Party Leadership regularly and it claims to speak to Lesbians within the Party. The Lesbian Labour organising team are all fully paid-up members of the Labour Party, some hold elected positions within their consistency parties (CLPs) and some are local councillors, none of us are involved in LGBT+ Labour.
We do not feel that LGBT+ Labour can represent Lesbians who have stated sexual boundaries or support the legal definition of Lesbianism and who, because of our sexual orientation are a protected characteristic within the Equality Act 2010. This is also based upon our own experiences as lesbians of being shut down and side-lined for stating our own boundaries, both within and outside of the Labour Party. This is only further underscored by LGBT+ Labour’s refusal to engage with us.
When the Labour Trans Equality group established itself some time ago they received almost instant recognition from the Party Leadership and became a ‘Friends of Labour’ within weeks. Lesbian Labour applied for a ‘Friends of’ status in May and have heard nothing despite making an official complaint about this discrimination.
Lesbian Labour continue to fight for a separate Lesbian voice within the Labour Party.
Below is the response in full from LGBT+ Labour. A larger version can be viewed here