Article Title:Red-blooded straight men in trouble
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:30th July 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2449
Text:Labour MP John Tamihere has stood up for the rights of "red-blooded heterosexual men" in a speech given at St Peter's College last night. Although Tamihere's speech covered many issues faced by men in general, he chose to specify them as problems faced by “red-blooded” straight blokes. Tamihere was asked to tone down the references to heterosexuality in his speech, lest he appear homophobic. "I don't want to appear anti-gay," says Tamihere, who voted against the Civil Union Bill (although in favour of the Relationships Bill, because its provisions would eliminate same-sex couples double-dipping on the benefit). Reaction to the speech has been mixed. Tamihere says there are pockets of resentment towards him within his own party, but apparently not from gay MP Tim Barnett, who said he thought the speech was powerful. "I think it is great to be a gay Kiwi man as well. We are all what we are," he says. "I think it is really important for people to own what they are and self-identify. Particularly for men it is a really important issue." The principal of Auckland Boys Grammar, John Morris, agreed that there are issues that need to be addressed but didn't believe men were being pushed around. Former MP Tau Henare said on radio this morning he felt the speech showed Tamihere was insecure about his own identity, rather than affirming it.    
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