Article Title:Ian McKellen's words for John Key
Category:Features
Author or Credit:Sir Ian McKellen
Published on:6th November 2012 - 12:35 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
NDHA link:http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/ArcAggregator/arcView/frameView/IE18334588/http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/32/article_12499.php
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Story ID:12499
Text:Sir Ian, who is gay, wearing a red shirt "Mr Key should watch his language," gay actor and advocate Sir Ian McKellen says following the 'gay red top' fiasco. "Careless talk damages lives". Here is his statement: New Zealand has an undeserved reputation (amongst those who have never visited) as living a little in the past, not quite up-to-date with the world elsewhere. As a regular visitor, I've often pointed out how, on social issues, the Kiwis have lead the world - first country to give women the vote, a nuclear-free stronghold and in the vanguard of civil rights for gay people. Which brings me to John Key, the prime minister of New Zealand. Recently in a light-hearted radio interview (see below) he referred to his host wearing a "gay red top," by which he meant, apparently, "a weird red shirt." Defending himself later, he said he was using the word in the sense that his children used it and not in any way to disparage gay people. Anyway, he said, the word was in the dictionary. So of course are many other words that can give offence. John Key, in a red shirt, with Sir Ian McKellen Nevertheless, Mr Key should watch his language. I'm currently touring secondary schools in UK, attacking homophobia in the playground and discouraging kids from the careless use of "gay" which might make their gay friends (and teachers) feel less about themselves. So even as he supports the proposal to introduce same-gender marriages in New Zealand, I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern. Careless talk damages lives. -- Ian McKellen Sir Ian McKellen - 6th November 2012    
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