New Zealand has elected the world’s queerest Parliament at the weekend, surpassing previous record-holder the United Kingdom.
Led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Labour party won 64 of 120 parliamentary seats on Saturday in a landslide result.
The election results show the total count of LGBTIQ politicians in New Zealand’s National Assembly will likely increase to 11, up from seven.
All belong to the Ardern’s Labour Party and the Greens. Labour Finance Minister and likely new Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson is among them.
Proportionately, this makes New Zealand’s National Assembly, at just over 9 percent, the most LGBTIQ representation in the world.
The UK formerly held the distinction with 45 out MPs out of 650, a total of 7 percent of its parliament.
Labour MP Louisa Wall, who with Robertson introduced New Zealand’s same-sex marriage bill in 2012, told AAP ahead of the election that “numbers do matter” in representation.
“We have a critical mass with high visibility and we’re seen as valid,” she said.
“If we do end up being the most LGBT representative Parliament in the world, that would be simply great.”
Director of LGBTIQ group Inside Out, Tabby Besley, told the New Zealand Herald it was great to have people with lived experience advocating for LGBTIQ issues in parliament.
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) October 18, 2020
Jacinda Ardern pledged to ban ‘conversion therapy’ this term
Before the election, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party pledged to ban harmful LGBTIQ “conversion therapy” this term.
The party also pledged $4 million for queer youth mental health.
Labour also signalled a review of New Zealand adoption and surrogacy to reform discriminatory policies.
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