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Gay couple say "ignorant, bigoted" MP must go

Mon 26 Nov 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP One of the country's most high-profile gay couples is calling for an MP to be sacked from the select committee considering the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill which, if passed, would enable same sex couples to formally marry. Des Smith and John Jolliff, long-term gay equality campaigners who were the first same-sex couple to have a Civil Union in New Zealand, say they were grossly offended by committee member Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP asking them, when they gave an oral submission to the Committee, who would be the wife in a gay marriage. They want him removed from the committee. "It was insulting, offensive and bigoted," says Jolliff. "He's clearly not competent to work on this bill. I think he has got very set ideas which come from ignorance and an unwillingness to learn. He has got to go." Smith says tonight that he is surprised that a Sikh would show such "willful intolerance" when his understanding is that Sikhs believe in respecting people regardless of race, religion or gender. "It's clear he doesn't understand either marriage or human sexuality," says Smith. The couple believe Bakshi has had plenty of time since being appointed to the committee to educate himself regarding same-sex relationships. They are also disturbed that in defending Bakshi Prime Minister John Key is supporting what they describe as Bakshi's offensiveness towards glbti people. Bakshi has also questioned another gay man making a submission on how same sex couples can have children and outside the select committee was caught lying to Tongan churchgoers, claiming that the majority of his fellow government MPs had voted against the first reading of the bill. Smith and Jolliff have written to the chair of the select committee, Ruth Dyson MP, questioning Bakshi's competence to be on the committee. The text of their letter can be accessed on the link below. You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the Forum.    

Credit: Daily New staff

First published: Monday, 26th November 2012 - 7:57pm

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