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July to December in NZ glbti news

Sat 31 Dec 2011 In: Features View at Wayback

July Party like it's 1986: We marked 25 years since the passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill: on 9 July 1986, Parliament voted to decriminalise sex between men and two days later the Bill was signed by the Governor General, allowing it to come into effect on 8 August. More in Mangawhai: "God hates dikes + qeers" was scrawled on the fence of Lindsay Curnow and Juliet Leigh's home, six months after their business was destroyed. No gay-dar: Vandals ripped a cross from a "Gay-dar" meter billboard outside liberal Auckland church St Matthews-in-the-City. The sign was being used to publicise debate on the issue of discrimination against gay and lesbian people in the Anglican Church. Tau's tweet: As a teacher launched a crusade to remove the negative use of the word "gay" from schoolyard speak, National MP Tau Henare responded with "what a gay story". The snow must go on: A group of South Islanders rallied to salvage Gay Ski Week events, after the company which ran it went into liquidation. AUT fraud revealed: Anglican gay rights advocate Jonathan Kirkpatrick, the former partner of ex-MP Tim Barnett, resigned from his role as a senior executive at the Auckland University of Technology after "accounting discrepancies" involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Adoption moves: Adoption Action filed a claim with the Human Rights Review Tribunal against New Zealand's adoption legislation which it said was discriminatory on a number of grounds, including sexual orientation. Labour MP Jacinda Ardern attempted to table a Care of Children Law Reform Bill, which would require the Law Commission to review the outdated laws and draft a bill to replace them, but Justice Minister Simon Power would not lend a hand, sticking to the Government's line it wasn't a priority. August Killing in Thailand: Gay West Coast resident and croquet aficionado Charles Jones, 56, was stabbed to death in the Thai resort Pattaya. His body was discovered by Menfriend's co-owner Stuart Yeatman, who was also on holiday in Pattaya having a break from his quake-damaged city and business. Syrian man Mohammad Shanar Ryad, 21, was later arrested and charged with Jones' murder. Justice for Arie and Michael: All quake 'looting' related charges were dropped against Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp and Michael Davis following public outcry when it was revealed Smith-Voorkamp took just two light bulbs and a light fitting due to his compulsion for electrical equipment, arising from his Asperger's syndrome. September Chris Carter Bye bye Chris: After a messy end to his career in Parliament, gay MP Chris Carter took up a United Nations role in Afghanistan. He avoided launching into his political enemies too much in his farewell speech, in which he remarked that he, Tim Barnett and Georgina Beyer had broken a glass ceiling in Parliament. Further Mills revelations: Detective Sergeant Andy King revealed police were investigating allegations of drug rape against Glenn Mills when he died in prison. Worrying figures: An ALAC-funded report into young people and alcohol found gay and bisexual high school students are significantly more likely to drink than their straight peers: and they are also more likely to binge drink, to drink alone, and to have unsafe sex and drink-drive as a result. October Mangawhai, again: Lindsay Curnow and Juliet Leigh's car was taken to with paint stripper and a wood splitter, causing massive damage. Fraudster jailed: The gay former Anglican priest who stole more than $665,000 from AUT University, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, was sentenced to three years and two months prison. Manslaughter verdict: Willie Ahsee, a 17-year-old from Papakura, was cleared of the murder and found guilty of the manslaughter of gay man Denis Phillips, when the eleven jurors rejected the Crown's assertion Ahsee had murderous intent when he stabbed Phillips in the head on a night they had been drinking together. Ahsee was later sentenced to five years jail, Legalise Love march: A vocal group of around 200 gay marriage and adoption campaigners descended on Parliament calling for gay marriage and adoption rights, with signs reading everything from "Christians for Equality" to the Bible quote "God hates shrimp". Silence: The Government was accused of moral cowardice by Green MP Kevin Hague over its lack of support for a move at CHOGM by Australia to highlight the criminality and brutal treatment of homosexuals in most Commonwealth countries. November The Election: In a nutshell, we have seven openly-gay MPs, a few good friends in a National-led Government which mostly does not see adoption or marriage rights as a priority. John Banks is back and so is Winston Peters – with seven MPs we don't know much about in tow. What does it all mean? We'll find out in 2012! The Odd Future debate: The biggest debate of the year came over the decision to pull a controversial hip hop collective from the Big Day Out line-up due to the homophobia, among other things, in their lyrics. Fans went into frenzy, even sending one of the lead complainants death threats. "New Zealand does not like a Nigga" the group's frontman Tyler the Creator responded on Twitter. A solo show was later booked. Moa does it again: Moa Brewing Company took another strange pot shot in a billboard which read "Fifty years ago before there were lesbians this is what beer tasted like". A complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority was settled, after the advertiser said the ad was no longer used and there was no intention to use it again. Pink Flight grounded: We revealed that resource and budget constraints mean Air New Zealand will not offer a Pink Flight to Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012. The airline hopes it will be back again in the future. Immigration gets it sorted: An inconsistently applied government immigration policy which had frequently seen New Zealand gay and bi men separated from their overseas partners was amended, in a move which was welcomed by people with HIV. December The many ages of Carmen Farewell to a legend: Goddess, icon, aunty, girl, whatever you want to call her, Carmen Rupe ended her 75 year reign in Australasia after succumbing to kidney failure in Sydney. "She was one of the first to declare that she was here and she wasn't going to hide. And in the end I think she had most people's respect. Maybe grudging respect, but respect none the less. People could look at her and think 'Well, maybe people like that aren't so bad after all,'" Wayne Otter recalled. Farewell Carmen. We hope you're riding a fab mobility scooter in the sky. Hideous crimes: Another grim year for crime against gay New Zealanders ended with the murder of Wellington radio journalist Phillip Cottrell, who was attacked as he walked home from an overnight shift at the Radio NZ building on The Terrace. Two teenagers have been charged with his murder, one of whom was bailed and allowed home for Christmas. We know it will be a tough holiday season for Cottrell's friends and family and we wish them the very best. In Auckland, the man who punched gay Auckland man Trevor Kaukau to the ground and left him unconscious on K' Rd spent Christmas behind bars after he breached his bail five times and twice failed to appear for a pre-sentencing report interview with staff from the Probation Service. Judge Roy Wade dressed 20-year-old Sitaleki Langi Koloamatangi down, remanded him in custody and made it clear he has lost any chance of serving a community sentence. Meanwhile Kaukau continues to make slow progress in rehabilitation for his brain injury. Robertson's rise: The massive year for out politicians and our friends in Parliament was capped off with gay MP Grant Robertson being made Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under David Shearer. "He is a skilled, talented and well respected individual who happens to be gay, and it is a positive sign of just how grown up we have become as a society," OUTLineNZ's Vaughan Meneses remarked on Robertson's appointment. Going, going, gone: The staff departures at the NZAF continued with Eamonn Smyth resigning as Director Health Services, followed by Wayne Otter leaving the Burnett Centre after 18 years and Simon Harger-Forde exiting his post as the Foundation's Director HIV Prevention and International. Political donations: The December story that was picked up all over the globe was the the Herald on Sunday's exposé on Bill Johnson, a conservative US Christian politician who has donated sperm to lesbian couples in New Zealand, even though he has campaigned against gay marriage. What the Hell? Hell Pizza crumbled and apologised for a cookie message which classed marrying a transgender person as a misfortune, saying it regretted that it had caused offence. Jacqui Stanford - 31st December 2011

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Saturday, 31st December 2011 - 1:43am

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