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GayNZ.com 2013 New Year's Dishonours

Thu 2 Jan 2014 In: Features View at Wayback View at NDHA

Yes, it was a wonderful year, but there were still some people who got under our skin with their particular brands of judgement, disrespect and discrimination. Michael and Karen Ruskin There is a sodomy ban at Pilgrim Planet Lodge “We don’t make provision for sodomy,” is not only the most bizarre and confused quote this year, it also sums up the strange idea Karen and Michael Ruskin have that they have a right to say gay people can’t stay together in their lodge. They don’t like gay people you see, can’t cope with the thought of a loving same-sex couple sharing a bed - and will take cover behind their Bible to tell you so. Time to get off your planet Michael and Karen, as in this part of ours there are clear laws against homophobic discrimination when you run a business. As Louisa Wall so aptly put it: "Their personal views are their own business except when they choose to exercise them in circumstances that run afoul of the law of this country." Damn straight. Tim Macindoe We could have put a bunch of people in this list for their ridiculous lies and fearmongering during the latter part of the marriage equality debate, but one MP stood out above all other odd assortment of homophobes. Hamilton West’s delightful representative Tim Macindoe tried to modify the marriage equality Bill to allow anyone who provides "goods, facilities or services," to discriminate against gay couples! During the debate he even said he was not a bigot or homophobic, and that his "gay friends" know this (cue laughter). The National MP added that he respected the "many gays" who have contacted him respectfully on the issue. His attempt was voted down by 80 votes to 36, thankfully. The law is clear (so take note): if you want to run a business in this nation you need have to deal with the “many gays” too. Got it? Gordon Matenga Take a Mormon Coroner who made a submission against the marriage equality bill, dismissing our love as a ‘social experiment’. Give him the utterly tragic death of a gay soldier in Afghanistan and what do you get? A complete and utter whitewash. We aren’t allowed to report what led Corporal Douglas Hughes to take his own life, thanks to Gordon Matenga declining a full inquest into his death and suppressing all details of a Court of Inquiry into the case. This has been criticised by the soldier’s family who want their claims Corporal Hughes was being mocked and bullied about his sexuality by colleagues before he took his own life fully investigated. We stand with them, and agree with the Attorney-General, who says members of the bench should avoid making submissions “on issues that could be seen as politically contentious”. We’re left with a sour feeling over the whole thing, on many levels, wondering whether the armed forces are a safe place for us or not. How can we know when there has been a complete cover up in this case? While many have played roles which are less than impressive, nobody gets our blood boiling more than this Coroner. Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi As if life isn’t already tough enough for Pacific Island men and women coming out to often very culturally and religiously conservative parents, rather than clearing the way towards respect and love as a leader should, Samoa’s Prime Minister has thrown even more obstacles in the path. His description of the New Zealand wedding of a gay Samoan man and his partner as "inappropriate," sparked a tide of homophobic comments on a Samoan news website. "I now declare you man and husband and that is very inappropriate," the PM said, adding the problem with the world today is that "everything is upside down." What has us feeling upside down is his ironic view that fa’afafine are ‘glorious miracles’, while gay men and women are anything but. The gracious and caring Tamakis Brian and Hannah Tamaki turning up to Georgina Beyer’s tribute fundraiser as some sort of gross women’s magazine publicity stunt was one of the most utterly disrespectful and arrogant moments of the year. And then for the Bishop of drivel to Tweet that "Our position on people has always bn Gracious..caring an respectful..we believe wat we believe.." … … hmm, respectful, yes, like calling Georgina a man for years? And rallying up an army of hate against civil unions? Someone hopefully bought Brian a dictionary for Christmas. Gracious and caring? More like he's in damage control as people keep leaving his horrible money-hungry church. Ugh. Gavin Gosnell, Nicho Waipuka, Simon Herewini and Rawiri Samuel The brutal killing and dismemberment of gay Christchurch teenager Hayden Miles by Gavin Gosnell was utterly horrific, and has left a family completely devastated and a young life barely lived. Nicho Waipuka’s opportunistic and deadly street bashing of beloved gay Wellington journalist Phil Cottrell broke the hearts of many, leaving the world without a kind-hearted and giving man, just because he looked like an easy target. Both attackers were obviously so full of remorse they turned straight to appeals – Waipuka’s has already been turned down. Then there is the blatantly homophobic killing of Roman Skorek in a Rotorua park, led by Simon Herewini and Rawiri Samuel and also involving two teenagers, which came about because Skorek apparently showed sexual interest in one of them. How about a simple ‘no thanks mate I’m not interested?’ rather than a prolonged beating, stabbing and slitting of a man’s throat? While we are only able to talk about the above cases in this way now because they cleared the courts this year, there have been plenty of gay men bashed on New Zealand’s streets in 2013 too. We’re tired of being the victims of unprovoked violence. We’re sick of being the whipping boys for drunken thugs trawling the street looking for someone to bash. To use an infamous statement in a much more appropriate context: Enough is enough. Enoch Adeboye Well ‘Daddy Adeboye’ sure reined his anti-gay hatred in when he came to New Zealand didn’t he? That was probably because Enoch Adeboye didn’t want anything to disrupt his crusade to get as much money as possible from people who believe his ‘I can cure cancer and make short people taller’ crap. He even insinuated he’d been warned about what he could get away with saying in New Zealand, which makes us utterly gloomy about what he does get away with saying back in Nigeria, where our gay brothers and sisters don’t have the type of protection and respect we do. While his rhetoric may have been toned down, media questioning of his presence in New Zealand led to a tirade on his Facebook page where people said we gays should be put to death, and the weirdest claim of the year that gay people will cause the population to fall so low that animals will take over and eat all humans! We’re sad for the numerous kids among the small crowd he pulled at his Auckland cash grab, and kids all over the world raised in his hateful church. Basic statistics would tell you some will be gay or trans. It won’t be an easy road for them, with their parents are full of whipped up hatred thanks to Daddy and his disciples. All those responsible for the Government’s suicide action plan We were left utterly gobsmacked when we read again and again and again through the Government’s $25 million suicide action plan and found no mention of glbti New Zealanders. The over-arching 2006-2016 Suicide Prevention Strategy recommended recognising the increased risks by glb young people and to devise policies addressed to meet the needs of this group, and yet the plan for 2013-1016 made no mention of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. It specifically mentioned the Maori and Pasifika communities, communities which have lost major industries, people in CYF care and people in prison. Our attempts to find out why we had fallen off the list and see whether we had missed something were then ignored. Research has shown we are at scarily high risk for suicide and suicide attempts, and yet we don’t even get a mention in a report aiming to bring down our suicide rate!? Or an explanation why? It’s not good enough. Check back tomorrow for the people 'we're not sure about'. GayNZ.com staff - 2nd January 2014

Credit: GayNZ.com staff

First published: Thursday, 2nd January 2014 - 8:33am

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