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Friday, 5 May, 2000, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Lesbian row at town hall
Aberystwyth mayor, Jaci Taylor
Elected mayor, Jaci Taylor
The newly-elected mayor to be of a Welsh town has caused a stir by announcing that her lesbian partner of 20 years will be mayoress.

Jaci Taylor, a 55-year-old Plaid Cymru councillor, who will be sworn in as Aberystwyth mayor next week, said Felicity Roberts, also 55, would join her on formal duties.

Everyone we know has accepted us as a couple

Jaci Taylor, Elected Mayor, Aberystwyth

The local Conservative Party chairman, Aubrey Palmer, immediately attacked her decision to make Felicity Roberts her mayoress.

He said: "It is going to cause quite a storm in Aberystwyth because it is not normally something we associate with this town.

"Things like this don't normally happen here. I think it just degrades the position of mayor."

Ms Taylor, who has two grown-up daughters, defended herself, saying: "It does take a lot of guts to make a decision like this, but everyone has a place in society and everyone is equal whether it is in terms of sexuality, race or culture.

"It shouldn't really be an issue. There are more important issues like getting a better life for people."

She added: "We have been together for 20 years and have never hidden the fact we are together. Everyone we know has accepted us as a couple."

Ms Taylor, will be joined at the swearing-in ceremony by her husband David from whom she separated in 1980.

A local councillor, who asked not to be named, said: "It does not matter who is mayor, you have to respect that position. It should not be made personal."

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