New Book Highlights “Gayest Parliament in the World”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 09:45

Tonight Edinburgh sees the launch of a new book THE CHILDREN OF HARVEY MILK: How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World, Andrew Reynolds (Oxford – November 2018).

Part political thriller, part meditation on social change, part love story, The Children of Harvey Milk tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights.

The book is based on deeply personal and revealing interviews with over ninety elected officials and high-profile candidates from across the globe—including the United Kingdom, United States, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Publishing exactly 40 years after Harvey Milk’s assassination, it brings us up to date on global breakthroughs and reveals the extent to which individuals have served as the catalyst for change when it comes to LGBTQ rights. 

Prof Reynolds has chosen Edinburgh as one of the locations to launch the book in recognition of the Scottish Parliament’s status as “the gayest Parliament in the world”.

Of 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, 10 are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual, the highest percentage of any parliament in the world. This includes two party leaders.

Of the 59 Scottish MPs at Westminster, again 10 are openly LGB, which is 17%

Professor Reynolds will be on a book tour of the Britain and Ireland in November with leading characters from the book (London Nov 25-27, Edinburgh Nov 28-29, Dublin Nov 30). The book launch will take place this evening at West Court, part of Edinburgh University, speakers include:

Louisa Wall MP (New Zealand) is known as the ‘mother of marriage equality’ in New Zealand, as the sponsor of their 2013 law. A Labour MP from Auckland she is Maori and a world cup winning sportswoman.

Sunil Babu Pant (Nepal) was the first, out MP to be elected in Asia in 2008. He was instrumental in entrenching gay rights in the Constitution of Nepal and having a ‘third gender’ identity option recognized for Nepali passports and documents. 

Sarah McBride (USA) was the first trans woman to speak at a national party convention in America. She is the Press Officer for the Human Rights Campaign and one of the most visible and beloved trans politicians in America.

Lord Chris Smith (UK) is the Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was the first British MP to come out, the first out gay cabinet minister and the first parliamentarian to acknowledge his HIV+ status.

The books author, Andrew Reynolds, said: “It is such a pleasure to be in Edinburgh to share the stories in the book. Over the last decade Scotland has made a statement about its soul. With the election of every out LGBTQ public official Scotland says we are inclusive, respectful and about love rather than hate. That is a beautiful national trait.”

Scott Cuthbertson, Development Manager, Equality Network said: “Scotland’s Parliament is one of the most LGBT inclusive in the World, and Scotland’s representation at Westminster is equally inclusive. It’s no surprise to me that diversity in our Parliament’s has contributed so much to making Scotland is one of the best places in the world for LGBT inclusive laws."


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