A National MP who voted against marriage equality because he believes every child should have a mother and a father, but has also supported Pink Shirt Day, is to be the new Health Minister. Jonathan Coleman said he was voting against the final reading of the legislation last year because he was worried about the "rights of children". “My personal view is that in an ideal world, each child would have a loving father and a loving mother,” he said at the time. As Associate Health Minister, Coleman and his staff supported Pink Shirt Day However he has also supported anti-bullying initiative Pink Shirt Day by wearing pink in the House, saying he hoped to raise awareness of the link between bullying and depression. The Northcote MP is a former Auckland Grammar School head prefect who went on to train and work as a doctor. Before entering Parliament he worked part-time as a GP in Otara while a health consultant for Pricewaterhouse Cooper. Coleman was Defence Minister when gay soldier Corporal Dougie Hughes took his own life. He refused to discuss the circumstances in Parliament, causing opposition defence spokesperson Phil Goff to accuse the government of a cover-up. Among the health issues raised by the lgbti community before the election were non-discriminatory health care for transgender people, as well as increased access to gender reassignment surgery. Funding for HIV prevention, access to HPV vaccines for gay men, collection of statistics and overrepresentation of lgbti people in mental health statistics were also discussed. In other changes to National’s line-up, Selwyn MP Amy Adams becomes Justice Minister. The former lawyer voted for marriage equality saying she was a “live and let live person”. Hekia Parata is back as Education Minister, while one of National’s most lgbti-friendly MPs Nikki Kaye will be the new ACC Minister.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 6th October 2014 - 11:26am
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