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Pro-glbti MP is new Maori party co-leader

Sat 13 Jul 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Te Ururoa Flavell Pro-gay equality MP Pita Sharples has been replaced as leader of the Maori Party by another pro-equality Maori politician, Te Ururoa Flavell. During the successful final reading of the Marriage Equality bill Flavell spoke of the "painful history of discrimination, of prejudice" directed against glbti people for much of New Zealand's history. He chided some of his fellow MPs, drawing attention to the "homophobia expressed by other members in this House tonight." Noting "the ugliness of stigma that has been hurled at Louisa Wall," the lesbian MP who fronted the Marriage Equality bill, Flavell told the house "I think about tamariki and mokopuna who now know that they do not have to hide the fact that there are two mums in their household, about parents who want to know that their son can marry the man of his dreams and they can be all out and proud on their special day, and about all of our whānau takatāpui who celebrate tonight as a day on which history is made; in which their exceptional love – the love that endures all - is finally able to dare to say its name out loud." In the early days of the Maori party out-going co-leader Pita Sharples was quick to comment positively on glbti issues, a position he has continued to maintain. His early and forthright pro-gay stance contrasted with that of his co-leader, Tariana Turia, who took some time to become publicly comfortable with supporting the human rights aspirations of glbti people.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 13th July 2013 - 11:06pm

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