Disabled- and gay- only shortlists?

There's been talk of late, coming from the deputy leadership election debates, about BME-only shortlists following the success of women-only shortlists. I tend to think in terms of the four NUS liberation campaigns - women's, BME, LGBT and people with disabilities, but if the argument holds for women-only shortlists and BME-only shortlists, why would the argument not hold for LGBT- or disability-only shortlists?

There is one big difference - it's not obvious from looking at someone if they're LGBT and not necessarily obvious if they're disabled, so there are going to be people in the Commons (and, indeed, the Lords) who fall into these categories. However, it would be tremendously helpful if people could be open about being disabled or LGBT and, as this isn't possible at the moment, a way (and I'm not necessarily advocating this) of increasing the number

There would be a problem with people saying 'you're not really gay' or 'you're not really disabled' in a way that isn't possible with women or BME people. There would also be the usual crowd crying that this is political correctness gone too far and that we're putting society into little boxes. It's true that groupings like 'women', 'LGBT', 'BME' and disabled are not a perfect tool. Doubtless, some wag would write to the Daily Mail (probably in green ink) saying that Parliament would be the playground of disabled, black lesbians.





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