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Conservatives seek anti-gay Pasifika vote

Sun 6 Apr 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Colin Craig says the Pacific community "rejects" gay marriage The Conservative Party claims the entire Pacific community is against marriage equality, which is among the reasons it’s standing two Pasifika church leaders in South Auckland electorates. Elliot Ikelei will run against marriage equality champion Louisa Wall in Manurewa. Dr Edward Saafi is standing against Labour’s Mormon MP Su'a William Sio, who voted against marriage equality, in Mangere. The Conservative Party says it represents the values of the Pacific Island community better than National, Labour, or any other party. In a press release, leader Colin Craig says National “are not a party that are looking out for Pacific Islanders”, which he backs up by stating “John Key himself went against his electorate to support gay marriage, which the Pacific community reject.” Marriage equality was a divisive issue in the Pasifika community, with the harshest opposition coming during a small Tongan protest in Mangere in October 2012, where gay people were likened to animals, the Prime Minister was labelled “John Gay” and MPs who voted for marriage equality were dubbed "mantally sick". Samoa’s Prime Minister is among those who have expressed displeasure about same-sex marriage, describing a gay Samoan man’s New Zealand wedding as “inappropriate” and “upside down." However, groups like Tagata Pasifika for Marriage Equality have spoken up for tolerance, with spokesman Jonathan Selu telling last year “our politicians and leaders should be more aware of how impacting their opinions can be for the people that they lead”. Selu has also told “Like any community, there are those in favour, and those against but our community has been painted to be wholly against it, which is completely unfair.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 6th April 2014 - 11:18am

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