We’re leading the way in LGBT representation
The UK now has the best representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the world, after last week’s election.
A week ago the nation went to the polls and elected 32 LGBT MPs - just under 5% of the number of MPs elected.
The UK has made strides towards equality in recent years – with the same-sex marriage bill getting cross-party support in the Commons in 2013.
With such a sizable proportion of LGBT MPs, we’re leading the world, ahead of other typically progressive countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands.
According to research by the New Statesman, the Tories put forward the most gay candidates – a surprise for some perhaps, considering the party had the most voters against gay marriage. Within the Conservative party, gay candidates performed better than their straight counterparts, too.
Andrew Reynolds, from the LGBT Representation and Rights Research Initiative, told the Daily Mail: “In some places, being out seems to have helped the candidate’s vote.
“But the impression I got on the doorsteps was that their sexual orientation was of little consequence.”
Out of the 10 seats Labour took from the Tories, three were won by gay candidates.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect was how geographically and demographically spread-out the LGBT seat winners were. In Scotland, this ranged from QC Joanna Cherry to 20-year-old politics student Mhairi Black.
Scotland was the biggest winner – 12.5% of SNP MPs are LGBT, giving the party the best representation of LGBT people in any political party in the world.
The number of LGBT MPs could still rise, as the New Statesman’s calculations didn’t, of course, take into account those who are not “out”.
However, it’s not all positive.
All LGBT people elected to the Commons this parliament are white, only six are lesbian and no transgender people were elected, despite the four trans candidates all performing better than the average for their party.
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