Here’s another reason why New Zealand is a great place to live. It turns out, New Zealand’s National Assembly is the gayest Parliament in the world.
According to the Australian, a recent election within the country has brought in four new gay members of Parliament. Now, there are 21 openly gay members of New Zealand’s National Assembly. Those 21 members make up 9 percent of the legislative body, which means they are the gayest Parliament in the world. Prior to this election, the U.K. held the record with 45 out of 650 MPS, or 7 percent, being openly gay.
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) October 18, 2020
“Numbers do matter,” Louisa Wall, a Labour MP who sponsored 2012’s Marriage Amendment Bill and will be returning to the National Assembly, told The Australian. “We have a critical mass with high visibility and we’re seen as valid. If we do end up being the most LGBT representative Parliament in the world, that would be simply great.”
“We have come a long way and for me it is about representative democracy,” Wall to RNZ. “We reflect our larger New Zealand population.”
She added, “We’re able to find solutions and work with our community to better address discrimination which still occurs.”
The recent election also included a landslide video for New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s reelection. Ardern has been universally applauded for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Labour Party now holds a majority within the National Assembly with 64 out of 120 seats.
So what’s next for Ardern and the LGBTQ-inclusive legislative body? According to Wall, the new Labour government sees LGBTQ health care and the elimination of conversion therapy as big priorities. Here’s hoping they can bring those issues to the legislative floor.