New Zealand Has Best LGBTQ+ Parliamentary Representation In The World
New Zealand is making the news once again, this time because it now has the strongest representation of LGBTQ+ MPs in the world.
After the weekend’s elections, New Zealand now boasts the most inclusive group of parliamentarians, as it is set to increase from seven to a predicted 11 in a 120-seat Parliament.
This number could change, however, as special votes – including those made overseas, by post-in or by prisoners on remand – can be returned and counted up to 10 days after the election.
The country will take the crown from the United Kingdom, which currently boasts the most members from the LGBTQ+ community.
The UK has 45 MPs that identify with the gay community out of 650 House of Commons members. This makes its LGBTQ+ representation 7%, whereas New Zealand now stands at 9.16% – almost 1 in 10.
New Zealand’s Labour Party and Green Party have increased their LGBTQ+ numbers by two, with the former now standing at seven and the latter at four. On the other hand, the National Party has no openly gay MPs in its 35-member parliamentary party.
Sadly, the idea of LGBTQ+ inclusivity is not seen as vital to all parties, with former National leader Todd Muller stating in June that it was not at the top of the party’s list of priorities, according to News Hub.
‘It is not something I’m particularly focused on, ensuring that we find someone who may or may not represent the LGBTI community,’ Muller said.
The aforementioned Labour Party already has prominent members including Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Louisa Wall, the MP for Manurewa. Its newest openly gay MPs are Ayesha Verrall and Shanan Halbert.
Green MPs Jan Logie and Chlöe Swarbrick won re-election, with newcomers Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere and Ricardo Menéndez joining the party.
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