Wales politics

First three openly gay and lesbian AMs 'a milestone'

Adam Price and Jeremy Miles
Image caption Adam Price (left) and Jeremy Miles

The election of the first three openly gay or lesbian AMs was described as a "milestone in democracy" by a charity.

Stonewall Cymru said it had "taken longer" for the Welsh Assembly to represent the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community than Westminster.

The three are Labour's Hannah Blythyn of Delyn and Jeremy Miles of Neath plus Plaid Cymru's Adam Price.

There were 25 women and 35 men elected and two members from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

Ms Blythyn has previously spoken about her wish to be "part of creating a modern Wales, a Wales that's representative".

In 2014, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Mr Price described in a S4C documentary how the 1984 miners' strike helped him come to terms with his sexuality.

Role models

Stonewall's director Andrew White described their election to the assembly as "a milestone in Welsh democracy", saying: "Our National Assembly can only benefit from the inclusion of out AMs who are comfortable being themselves while working for their constituents."

But he added: "We know that there is much more to be done before Welsh public life is truly representative of all communities in Wales."

He said LGBT people need role models in all walks of life, adding: "It's difficult to aspire to be what you cannot see."

Of the 60 member elected, there are 35 men and 25 women, while there were 36 men and 24 women in 2011.

The highest proportion of women elected to the assembly was in 2006/07, when there were 31 women and 29 men.

In terms of members from BME backgrounds, there were two candidates elected on Thursday.

Labour's Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething was born in Zambia while the Conservative's South Wales East regional member Mohammad Asghar was born in what is now Pakistan.

This represents no change on 2011 - although, when the Conservatives' south Wales west regional AM Byron Davies left to become an MP in 2015, he was replaced by Indian-born Altaf Hussain.

Mr Hussain lost his seat in Thursday's election.

People from Indian, Polish, Chinese, African-Caribbean and other minority ethnic groups make up about 4.5% of Wales' total population.

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