|This week’s Rainbow Wellington pre-election gathering will be one of the few lgbti-focused forums before the election, so we’re taking a close look at what the candidates had to say. Labour MP Maryan Street focused on adoption, transgender issues and her passion for ensuring our kids are safe. She also made a powerful plea about lgbti rights, which you can read here
Maryan Street addresses the Rainbow Wellington forum Maryan Street is a former teacher and ex-President of the Labour Party. She has been an MP since 2007 and has held a variety of roles, including Housing and ACC Minister. She’s currently a passionate Rainbow Labour representative, advocate for Nelson’s Q-Youth and her party’s spokesperson for State Services, Tertiary Education, Disarmament “which is a blot on our reputation”.
She added the ‘transgender agenda’ is unfinished business. “There are so many parallels with where the transgender community are, and where we were some time ago as gays and lesbians.”
The MP said the recommendations of the Transgender Inquiry To Be Who I am need to be implemented. “We need to provide appropriate healthcare for transgender communities. We need to provide more support for those who are travelling in the way towards surgical procedures. I cannot bear the number of those who are talking to me in my office that are thinking they have to go to Thailand for operations, without guarantees of all the safeties that we have in our own system.”
Street says the three concerns of adoption, lgbti youth safety and getting transgender issues sorted are high priorities.
“And while this is not our official Rainbow Labour launch, that’s kind of a sneak preview of what’s in our policy.”
Street acknowledges there remain a number of barriers in sport, and says we need to make sure our young people are safe in that arena too.
Street also spoke about the strength of the Rainbow Labour caucus, which had herself, Grant Robertson, Louisa Wall and Meka Whaitiri as MPs this term.
The party also has a number of lgbti candidates standing, including all of the above and Tamati Coffey, Tony Milne, Richard Hills and Kelly Ellis.
In a nutshell: Labour will sort out adoption laws It will make keeping our kids safe a high priority It will implement all the Transgender Inquiry recommendations It wants to bring back the Rainbow Desk
Full Rainbow Labour policy is still to come. GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 1st August 2014