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Reports Encourages More Gay MPs


A report released by the speaker of the house of commons in the United Kingdom on Monday recommends intensified measures to encourage more gay and lesbian people to stand for parliament.

The report from the conference chaired by Speaker John Bercow said that more could be done to prevent discrimination against potential parliamentary candidates who "do not fit the traditional mold," according to Pink News.

"The current composition of the Commons does not reflect society," said the report, according to Pink News. "Eighty per cent of MPs are men. One in 43 MPs comes from a black or minority ethnic community. Only a handful of members identify themselves as disabled. Currently, only two out of 646 MPs are under the age of 30. There is only one out lesbian in the membership of the Commons and the Lords combined. There has never been an Asian woman MP. If these things do not seem strange, they should."

Recommendations for addressing the lack of diversity before the 2010 general election include the establishment of codes of conduct that discourage negative campaign references to sexual orientation and allowing members to hold their civil partnership cermonies in the Palace of Westminster.

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Julie Bolcer