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Little expected from "smile and wave" PM

Wed 8 Feb 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A gay senior Labour MP says the Prime Minister may attend the Big Gay Out and pose for pictures this Sunday, but the community shouldn’t expect any advances from the John Key-led Government over the next three years. “It does seem that under John Key, any advance in glbti rights has stalled, at least as far as action from the Government is concerned,” Charles Chauvel tells Daily News. “He will come and smile and wave at the Big Gay Out, but do nothing for us as far as our legal equality is concerned.” The Prime Minister is among the invited guests for this weekend’s Big Gay Out in Auckland, a major event on the gay calendar which he has attended for numerous years, and danced with drag queens and posed with safe sex models. Last year he infamously told the crowd National hadn’t rolled back any glbti rights, as it had promised it wouldn’t. Parliament is back in session this week and Labour is under the new leadership team of David Shearer and his openly-gay Deputy Grant Robertson, both of whom have also been invited to the event on Sunday. Chauvel says his leaders are committed to Labour’s election pledges of adoption law reform, marriage equality, safer schools, the implementation of the Human Rights Commission's report To Be Who I Am, and a braver voice for equality in international affairs. “In addition, despite having achieved the repeal of the 'gay panic' defence, as Justice Spokesperson I'm concerned that we still have the position at law where the gay victims of fatal assaults can still have their reputations destroyed at trial, as happened in the Ahsee trial last year,” Chauvel says, adding it’s something the party’s Rainbow Caucus is discussing this week as it meets under the chairpersonship of lesbian MP Louisa Wall. “We’ll be talking about what we can do in concrete terms as Labour MPs to achieve reforms in this Parliament in all these areas despite John Key's opposition to them,” Chauvel says. Auckland Mayor Len Brown has also been confirmed as a guest at this Sunday’s Big Gay Out at Coyle Park in Pt Chevalier, while many of Labour and the Greens’ gay and lesbian MPs are also expected to attend.You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the Forum.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 8th February 2012 - 1:44pm

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