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PM to be swarmed by "gay red shirts" at BGO

Sat 9 Feb 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A bit of mischief is being hatched by a group planning to surround John Key in a cloud of "gay red shirts" at every photo opportunity at tomorrow's Big Gay Out in Auckland. The Prime Minister has impressed some in the community with his support for marriage equality in the past 12 months, however he has also been heavily criticised for his "gay red top" quip as he mocked a host in a blokey radio interview. The criticism intensified when he later stated he meant "gay" as "weird". A group is planning a peaceful and fun "gay red shirts for John" display at the Big Gay Out, which is not a demonstration or protest, but as they put it "a satirical intervention". "Mr Key will be at the BGO, eager for the political middle ground that posing with a tame gay can buy, and desperate to stamp the festival and the BGO as some how belonging to him and the conservatives of National," they say. "But what does he really think of us? Well, unguarded moments are telling, aren't they John; 'Gay just means weird'. Obama he ain't." Anyone who wants to take part can go here and get the low down on exactly what will be happening. Organisers stress they aim not to disrupt or in any way impede Key, "but to simply and peacefully provide a context to his appearance. By appearing in the background of every photo of him at the BGO". There will be a strong turnout of politicians once again tomorrow, with Key's National colleagues Nikki Kaye, Melissa Lee and Jian Yang also RSVP'ing yes to the New Zealand AIDS Foundation's invitation to attend. Labour Party leader David Shearer, deputy Grant Robertson and MPs Maryan Street, Jacinda Ardern, David Cunliffe, Darien Fenton, Moana Mackay will attend, as will Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei, Green Party MPs Kevin Hague, Jan Logie and Denise Roche, as well as US Ambassador to NZ David Huebner and US Consul General Jim Donegan. Robertson will speak on colleague Louisa Wall's behalf on the marriage equality bill, as she in Sydney at the Pacific Women's Parliamentary Partnerships Forum. While she is disappointed to be missing the Big Gay Out, she promises to be back for the Pride Parade.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 9th February 2013 - 6:44pm

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