BRITAIN may have the highest number of LGBT MPs in the world but much is still to be done to reach true representation, trade unionists said yesterday.
Delegates at this year’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) LGBT conference called for action on the quotas of gay, lesbian, bi or transexual people in Parliament — currently at just over 5 per cent.
The House of Commons recently welcomed the coming out of two more MPs — SNP business spokeswoman Hannah Bardell and Labour shadow Welsh secretary Nia Griffith — but activists believe Westminster is still lacking in diversity.
Community union delegate Linda Ballard told conference that “we’ve come a long way but the fight is by no means over.
“Of the 32 LGBT MPs elected last year, all are white, only six are women, and not one, not a single one, is transgender.
“So while we lead globally in terms of numbers, it’s a low bar. While we are proud, let’s not stop just because we are the best of what is, let’s be honest, a very bad bunch.”
Ms Ballard, who is the mother of a transgender child, added that political representation had positive effects “far beyond Parliament.”
She added: “Attitudes, not legal objections, are the final frontier for LGBT rights.
“It matters hugely that Parliament reflects the population — and to LGBT people that see people like us in positions of power, speaking up for and demanding our rights.”
Her words were echoed by shop workers’ union Usdaw member Stuart Bunyan who said: “Parliament should be a mirror of the society in which we live, at the moment it is not.”
Conference voted unanimously to campaign to support LGBT people running for seats in Parliament and other public offices.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.