Auckland Councillor Linda Cooper has apologised if she caused any upset by asking a gay man to “try not to be such a judgemental little cock”, saying she meant it as in “righteous rooster” and “no anatomical references” were intended. Daniel O’Connor had questioned the inclusion of National MPs Melissa Lee and Alfred Ngaro in the National Party pride float, which Cooper was also a part of: Cooper says the conversation got heated. “I was asking Daniel to desist from being a righteous rooster. That's all. No anatomical references intended.” The councillor says she never intended to upset the lgbt community. “For that I apologise.” She says she absolutely supports the rainbow community, and the essence of the issue is that Marriage Equality Bill was rightly passed. “Some MPs voted against it. Do we need to persecute them forever for exercising their conscience vote or do we move on happy in the knowledge that the gay members of our community have this equal right?” she says. Cooper says both Melissa Lee and Alfred Ngaro have faced vitriol about their presence in the parade float, which they were asked to be part of. She says they wanted to show they were personally supportive of the lgbt community – despite voting against marriage equality, to reflect the views of their respective communities. She says Lee, a Korean MP, received “torrents” of abuse on twitter during and after the parade. “And she was really personally upset,” saying she knew it would happen, but had marched because she wanted to support her Parliamentary friend and colleague Nikki Kaye. “And also Alfred is a strong, Christian, caring man, and he wanted to do the same. He’s not anti-gay. He just had to listen to that strong Pacific voice. That’s the trades offs that are made in politics, unfortunately.” Cooper says she commends their bravery for marching. “It was hard for them, and they came anyway. Daniel O’Connor says he will lodge a complaint with Auckland Council. “I think my comments were fair, and from the resulting Facebook conversation my opinion is obviously shared by the majority of people at the parade. “Linda has tried to call me out as being immature when she is the one resorting to schoolyard bullying tactics to shut people down, totally at odds with her high profile role as Auckland councillor. A proper apology would not go amiss.” O’Connor adds Lee and Ngaro have never apologised for voting against marriage equality and as far as he is concerned, have not changed their views. “Following from that, it's a bit hard to forgive them when they are still on the record as being against the marriage equality bill which others in attendance, like Louisa Wall and Nikki Kaye, fought so hard to pass.” He says their participation in the parade still feels like a slap in the face.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 23rd February 2015 - 10:27am
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