Article Title:On The Record 2005: Comments from the candidates
Author or; various
Published on:30th August 2005 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:886
Text:A listing of glbt-related comments made by candidates and political parties in the lead-up to the 2005 general election. Updated as comments come to hand, listed by party and edited/excerpted for length, context and/or clarity. (Our thanks to the readers who send us sourced comments for inclusion!) ACT PARTY Diane Dawson, Northcote candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "If you don't know what your own sex is then you sure as heck have special problems that will not be fixed by legislation. Definining perverts as special is sheer lunacy and an abuse of the English language." (Source: Mike Collins, Mana candidate Topic: Adoption Rights "Heterosexual couples don't have a monopoly on safe loving relationships." (Source: Chris Brown, Rodney candidate Topic: Adoption Rights "I strongly believe that it would be better for a child to be in a loving, nurturing relationship...than in care." (Source: Chris Brown, Rodney candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination: "I consider transexuals should be included." (Source: Stephen Franks, Wellington Central candidate Topic: Why Christians should vote ACT "The tribal identification of Catholics and other mainstream clerics with Labour because of their 'social justice' ideology, allowed the left to ignore organised Christianity...But the new activist Christian movement seems to be so well organised and sophisticated (Maxim for example) that it is natural to think about relevant questions in the context they create. "...true civil rights are the hard won individual rights to freedom from coercion, not freedom from the natural social consequences (short of force or threat of force) from lifestyle choices." David Seymour, Mount Albert candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "As for needing role models, if I had to make the choice, I'd choose a happy heterosexual or same-sex relationship over having an unhappy parent of your own guide." (Source: Gavin Middleton, Rongotai candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "What parents do in their bedroom is their own business." (Source: Gavin Middleton, Rongotai candidate Topic: Same-Sex Marriage Ban: "I don't believe a loving same-sex relationship is in any way inferior to a loving heterosexual relationship." (Source: Muriel Newman (sitting list MP and candidate) Topic: Labour's ‘anti-family agenda' "[An] extreme... anti-family... agenda is deeply embedded within Labour's radical feminist and lesbian factions and has been a significant force driving the Party and parts of the public service, for more than thirty years... They believe that the family as we know it should be destroyed and replaced with economic and social institutions that are “superior...” That is why Labour has elevated every other form of relationship to the same status in law as marriage and why last year they refused to sign up to the United Nations Doha Declaration on the Family, which seeks to support the traditional family and encourage marriage." (Source: Scoop) CHRISTIAN HERITAGE PARTY Ewen McQueen, party leader Topic: National party soft on 'family values' National oversaw the introduction of the Human Rights Act in 1993. Its anti-discrimination provisions have been pivotal to every piece of liberal legislation that has followed. National introduced the De-Facto Relationships Property Bill in 1998. This was subsequently picked up by Labour and turned in to the Property Relationships Act - a major step in undermining the unique legal status of marriage. [Party leader Don Brash] initially supported the introduction of civil unions. He eventually voted against it saying there should be a referendum. Chris Finlayson is a lawyer placed at no.27 on the National party list and therefore likely to get into Parliament. He is open about his homosexuality and says "It is not an issue as far as I am concerned, nor is it an issue for the leader or president." These facts clearly show that National is not going to be a standard bearer for Christian/family values in New Zealand. In fact it is likely to simply be a paler version of Labour when it comes to liberal social policy. (Source: Scoop) DESTINY NZ PARTY Richard Lewis (Party leader, Manukau East candidate) Topic: Gender identity discrimination "Legislating the sexual preference [sic] of an extreme minority is not equal rights but special rights..." (Source: Diane Vincent (Auckland Central candidate Topic: Gender identity discrimination "God does not make mistakes with our genders." (Source: Karen Penny (New Lynn candidate) Topic: Adoption Law Reform "So what may happen if homosexual couples are able to adopt is a market driven industry of babies made to order..." (Source: Karen Penny (New Lynn candidate) Topic: Gender identity discrimination: "Then there is another minority who are either confused or just prefer to dress in a particular way. You can't legislate for dress sense..." (Source: Brian Tamaki, 'spiritual leader' of the party Topic: Civil unions; gays in politics and govt. agencies During his national 'Nation Under Seige' tour Tamaki claimed that soon young boys will be selling their wares to men in this country; that the agenda of civil unions was not marriage but to promote the gay lifestyle to children; and that children now feel the gay lifestyle is not only normal, but to be pursued. In the DVD produced to support the tour Tamaki spends most of his speech time attacking gays, lesbians and transgenders, attributing many of society's ills to the influence of gays on the Labour government. (Source: Tohi Tamati, Tamaki Makaurau candidate Topic: Brian Tamaki's influence "I'm a planted member of the Destiny Church, Bishop Brian Tamaki is my spiritual father, and I'm also the Destiny NZ party candidate for Tamaki Makaurau. I see my role as candidate as being different from my role as a planted member of the church. They're connected nevertheless, and I'm not going to deny a strong connection." (Source: National Radio) Rod Gabb, candidate for Epsom Topic: Civil Unions "We've got to protect the institution of marriage between one man and one woman by repealing same-sex laws, we've got to foster marriage... it's fine that [a homosexual couple] can live together, but we shouldn't bring marriage down to that level. Marriage is the proven and tried formula the world over for bringing up children in our society." Rod Gabb, candidate for Epsom Topic: Publicly funded sex-change operations: Gabb: We're going to lower taxes... to keep more money in the home. The Government [is] sending folk across to Sydney to have major sex changes, well we say that should be back in our country supporting our families. Interviewer (John Banks): If someone wants to have their willy chopped off, mate, they can go and pay for it themselves, I don't want to fund it. Gabb: Exactly. (Source: Radio Pacific) GREEN PARTY Nicola Harvey, Mana candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "I do not believe there is any basis to say that a same-sex couple would not be able to provide the same love and care as a heterosexual couple." (Source: Catherine Delahunty, East Coast candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "I totally support children being raised by loving caregivers. Gender is irrelevant." (Source: Catherine Delahunty, East Coast candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "Transgender and Transsexual People are regularly discriminated against in very disturbing ways." (Source: Daniel Howard, Hamilton East candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "Worst crimes than love between two people of the same sex are perpetrated in 'normal' families each day." (Source: Paul Qualtrough, Maungakiekie candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "There are some appalling different sex parents, there are many fabulous same sex has nothing to do with anything but love and care." (Source: Rev. Mua Strickson Pua (candidate) Topic: Pacific Island communities' anti-glbt discrimination "Amongst many Pacific churches there is a dominant right wing theology of discrimination and oppression against gays, lesbians, and HIV/AIDS. Gender discrimination and sexual violence have yet to be addressed." "Our Pacific leaders have not yet worked through these issues... the seeds of true aroha and justice are out there happening, but it needs to be on a larger scale." (Source: Scoop) LABOUR PARTY Ashraf Choudhary MP Topic: Gays in Muslim countries Ashraf Choudhary appeared on TV3's 60 Minutes, in an item about fundamentalist Islam in New Zealand. He said that the Koran was “correct” to advocate stoning homosexuals “in those societies”, referring to societies practising Islamic canonical law. Choudhary voted in favour of the civil unions legislation despite reported heavy lobbying against it by Muslim leaders in NZ. At that time he said Muslims, - as a minority group in New Zealand - had a duty to support the human rights of other minority groups. (Source: Helen Clark, PM and party leader Topic: Choudhary's 'stone gays' comment "Clearly Ashraf is a devout Muslim and he will have his own views. But for the record let me spell out the Labour Party does not support capital punishment. It does not support flogging. It does not support stoning. We have very strong views about that," she said. "I don't care whether it's in any religious tract, it's not something that's acceptable to me." (Source: Tony Milne, Labour List candidate Topic: Safety in Schools for GLBT students “This isn't PC nonsense. Barriers to getting good quality education should be removed to give all our young people their best opportunity to get a good education and make a success of their lives... “I came out at high school in Invercargill 9 years ago when I was 15. I was a good student, but several times wanted to leave school because of my experience of physical and verbal bullying. The homophobia from other students, and even teachers, made focussing on learning very difficult. “High school happens through a crucial period in the life of a young queer person. Young queer people are coming out to friends and family, facing all the extreme pressures of being young in our society and also face the trauma of being out or hiding the truth in a school environment, shared with hundreds of other young people. “I have lived the school experience and want the next generations to have a better chance." (Source: Rainbow Labour press release) MAORI PARTY Maraea Ropata, Hutt South candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "There are those who... make a choice to be transexual... for many reasons and they should be specially protected. They are human and this question is about the right to exist according to their choices." (Source: NATIONAL PARTY Bob Clarkson, candidate for Tauranga Topic: Definition of family "A family is a male, a female and a couple of children. You can do in your own home whatever you want - doesn't worry me two hoots - but don't you come into society and tell me that [homosexuality] is normal". (Source:NZ Herald) Don Brash, party leader Topic: the Bible and homosexuality "I don't think [fundamentalists] have read their Bible terribly carefully. To the best of my knowledge, Jesus never actually spoke about homosexuality and it's condemned in a very small number of places - including the book of Leviticus, which also condemns eating meat with blood in it and wearing garments with more than one fibre." (Source: Don Brash, party Leader Topic: Civil Unions At a Grey Power meeting in Kapiti Brash said he has no problem with gay people formalising their relationships, and that he has no intention of scrapping Civil Union legislation should National win the election. Brash voted against the Civil Union Bill, saying it should have gone to referendum. (Source: NewstalkZB) Mita Whare Harris, New Lynn candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "If parents could provide a kind, loving and growing environment, then they should qualify, same-sex or not." (Source: Paula Bennett, Waitakere candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "[We should] judge parents on their potential parenting ability and not their gender or marital status." Nicola Young, Rongotai Candidate Topic: Adoption Reform "It's the quality of care that counts, not the gender." (Source: Brian Connell, Rakaia Topic: Adoption Reform "Evidence points to the length of same-sex relationships lasting only eighteen months..." (Source: Maurice Williamson MP, Pakuranga candidate Topic: Same sex marriage ban "Marriage is already only between a man and a woman. Why waste Parliament's time any more?" (Source: Chris Auchinvole,Tasman- West Coast candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "That people in this situation are vulnerable to all sorts of maltreatment is beyond doubt." Chris Finlayson (gay list candidate) Topic: Civil unions; glbt rights Believes the civil union legislation is “flawed”, because marriage “is a heterosexual institution and I would not want to think that anything would be done which would harm that institution. I think it's [civil union] marriage using a different term.” Asked why he had never involved himself in the battle for gay rights, Finlayson answered: “It's just never been an issue, really. People are many things. I'm a conservative. I'm a Roman Catholic. There are many parts to my person. Sexuality is only one take on a person.” (Source: NZ Herald) Don Brash (party leader) Topic: Place of gays in society Brash said the government had been concentrating on issues like civil unions while ignoring “mainstream” New Zealanders. When asked whether this meant that he didn't consider gays and lesbians to be part of mainstream New Zealand, Brash replied: “Well they're clearly not, they're a small minority of people.” (Source: Radio New Zealand) Don Brash (party leader) Topic: The Civil Unions Bill “I thought this should be dealt with by referendum because it's a big change in the civil institutions of society. I also said that in the referendum I would vote for it because I have no problem with same sex couples committing to live together faithfully as heterosexual couples do.” (Source: Radio New Zealand) Judith Collins, Clevedon candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "There is no need to make any person a protected species" (Source: Nick Smith Nelson MP and candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "Transexuals shouldn't be included in the Human Rights Act any more than punk rockers, disco lovers or chess players." (Source: Maurice Williamson, Pakuranga MP Topic: Civil Union Act "I voted against the civil union bill. The idea people who were gay were illegal up until the mid-80s was laughable. But I drew the line when it got to the point they wanted to enjoy the same institution as a heterosexual couple, that is of marriage.” (Source: Howick and Pakuranga Times) NZ FIRST PARTY Winston Peters (Party leader) Topic: Civil Unions "We make no bones about it that New Zealand First is a socially conservative party. We opposed... the Civil Union Bill which was a huge exercise in deception. Every fundamental homosexual was against it. I had a homosexual say to me, "Don't you support that law whatever you do." (Source: Sunday Star Times) Winston Peters (party leader) Topic: Civil Unions [Labour is] promoting... a gay and feminist agenda... with gay marriage for homosexual courtiers Labour's traditional Pacific Island support base finds gay marriage offensive – as do most working class men and women. For them it's one thing to be tolerant of different sexualities, but it's another thing entirely to have it forced down our throat in some veiled attempt at legitimisation. Labour has... warped priorities. Given the huge priority placed on the Civil Union Act and the massive propaganda programme Labour employed to try and bend public opinion on this issue – one would have thought that there were thousands of gay New Zealanders clamouring to get married. Since the law came into effect there have only been 60 civil unions. That's right only 60. So much for the hordes of gays and lesbians lining up to make their relationships legal – they are simply not out there. We average 1700 marriages a month even in this age of most couples living together before entering a serious relationship. So this government made a huge priority out of an agenda which has put it offside with large numbers of its own support base and average New Zealanders. Most New Zealanders believe that sex, whatever the orientation, belongs in the bedroom, not the full frontal assault that this government inflicted on the nation. We have a television show called “Queer Nation” which this government pays over $600,000 annually for. (Source: NZ First website) UNITED FUTURE PARTY Larry Baldock, sitting List MP Topic: Marriage laws Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. I believe [legislation] is necessary to prevent any further assault on this important institution from those who would promote gay marriage... [I would] vote for defining marriage in law as being only between a man and a woman. (Source: Larry Baldock, sitting List MP Topic: adoption of children by same-sex couples While other family arrangements may occur within society, the State should not intentionally deny a child from having both a father and a mother. Children will benefit most from having a mother and father, which enables them to learn from both sexes as they grow into adulthood... [I would] vote against allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. Larry Baldock, sitting List MP Topic: Criminalisation of hate speech Freedom of speech, even though it can be abused and used to cause hurt to people, is a right that must be upheld. There are laws already to deal with slander and other abuses. To try and place a greater value on some speech than others will only create more problems... [I would] vote against legislation to prohibit expression that is deemed hateful. (Source: Larry Baldock, sitting List MP Topic: Georgina Beyer's Gender Identity Bill In its current from the Bill by Georgina Beyer before Parliament is unworkable. The current law is sufficient to deal with those who undergo a sex change operation... [I would] vote against amending the Human Rights Act 1993 to include transsexual and transvestite people as a specially protected group. (Source: Gordon Copeland, list candidate Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "Normatively, I believe that people are born male or female at birth and their sex shouldn't be altered except in the case of 'deformity.'" (Source: Peter Dunne, party leader Ohariu Belmont MP Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination "I think all people are entitled to freedom from discrimination." (Source:; various - 30th August 2005    
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