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Sat 2 Jan 2016 In: People View at Wayback View at NDHA

As we gaze optimistically into the new year let's not forget that in 2015 some folks did some really shite things to glbti folk, either individually or as a group. Here's our pick of the crop, presented in alphabetical order... Justice minister Amy Adams For a hundred years and more our gay and bi male predecessors were persecuted and prosecuted for being true to their natures. Pursed-lipped informants alerted the authorities to homosexual goings on between consenting male adults, gay and bi chaps engaging in the sort of activity parliament, the maker of our laws, agreed thirty years ago should not be a criminal offense. There were no victims. It was official enforcement of a narrow and censorious moral stance which the powerful, the pompous and the bigoted forced on those they personally disapproved of. Many of those men who were prosecuted and publicly pilloried for finding comfort, joy and even love in another man's arms or bed were ruined for life. To this day they have a criminal record ready to pop up and out them, deny them employment or simply remind them yet again of the most nightmarish, degrading and damaging event of their lives. Wiping those convictions off the records seems the humane thing to, but not to Ms Adams. Due to the wording of the old law, and apparently/presumably there's no records kept anywhere of the way the cases played out in court, it's unclear if a few of those cases might have involved some form of non-consensual sex. So, “no,” says Ms Adams, to ensure the few bastards out there stay convicted those whose actions are now considered quite acceptable must continue to suffer. Is that how justice is supposed to work? Justice, as opposed to the letter of the law and the fear of having to defend a humane decision in the court of general election. This is, by the way, the same justice minister who earlier in the year added her name to the list of those in power who won't lift a finger to get the egregious miscarriage of justice that was the Chch Civic Creche/Peter Ellis case finally investigated. It's way past time Ellis, a gay man labelled a pedophile in a rush of Salem witch trials-type mass hysteria, was released from the hell he was consigned to by that patent stitch-up job. If it was good enough for Arthur Allan Thomas and Teina Pora why isn't it good enough for Peter Ellis? By showing double-whammy cowardice and lack of gumption Justice Minister Amy Adams dishonours herself and what should be the true spirit of the House of Representatives. The Auckland Outgames team. $20,000 of glbti community development money gone west with narry a backwards glance, a major regional human rights, sporting and cultural festival ditched and all the management team can say about it is to metaphorically wring their hands and question why their board bailed and crashed the project. And the Board still won't talk. Clearly the Auckland Outgames team weren't up to the job, their work was heavy on hype and light on results, no one was communicating effectively or monitoring the situation until too late. There were, in effect, no adults in the room. Some might say this is par for the course in too many Auckland gay community organisations and there is much evidence to back that up, but the Outgames fiasco was in a class all by itself. By screwing up big time the management and board of the Auckland Outgames dishonour themselves and the glbti communities which others work so hard to support and burnish. Trash broadcaster Dominic Harvey Harvey makes it into our dishonours again for the latest in his homophobc ratings-at-all-costs stunts by throwing on a frock and lippy and pretending he was a transgender woman for a day. A vile, calculating, denigrating, self-serving, ego-pumping, crude slap in the face for all transgender people, many of whom have faced a lifetime of personal, social and bureaucratic abuse. We'd like to think his co-host, gay man Mike Puru, finally quit a couple of months back because he was fed up with being a party to this filth year after year but somehow we don't think that was the reason. By victimising people who deserve respect and a little humanity, and year on year degrading gay people's lives and experience all the way to the bank, Harvey dishonours himself, broadcasters throughout the country and anyone else associated with this crap... and that includes you too Mike.   The Mormon Church What Head Office, Utah, says goes Mormons in New Zealand kowtow to. So Mormons throughout the country will now victimise innocent children whose only crime is to have been born to, or ended up with, same-sex parents. Specifically singling out these kids in order to in some way dissuade or punish their parents, the Mormons in your town or suburb will now be bringing up their youth to believe in the rightness and wonder of their God then slapping them down by requiring that they wait until they are over 18 and also disavow their parent's loving relationship in order to be baptised. Have you ever heard of anything so callously cruel? (Actually, if you cast your eye over the rest of the USA-based conservative evangelical religions you will observe plenty of cruelty in many guises.) And, by the way, they will also be kicking those parents out of the church into the bargain. By sacrificing these children and their parents on the altar of inhumanity Mormons in New Zealand and around the world dishonour themselves and the teachings of Jesus Christ. HIV and sexual health medication funder Pharmac. So another year passes, the medical and epidemiological evidence stacks up higher and higher and still Pharmac refuses to loosen the criteria for HIV medication funding to allow more than a little handful of uninfected gay and bi men use the drugs preemptively. For a variety of reasons which are complex and difficult to address through condoms alone, the annual rate of new, locally-contracted HIV infections is running at its highest level ever. The cost of full life-time medical support for those infected people, mostly gay and bi men, will be astronomical in the future. But future is not what short-sighted Pharmac seems to consider. Pharmac says it knows funding anti-HIV drugs on this basis is a high priority - but it does nothing. It is also unbelievable that Pharmac cares enough for straight youngsters to pay for a vaccination programme to lower their incidence of cancer-causing sexually transmitted infection Human Papillomavirus (HPV) but doesn't bother itself with funding it for gay people. The most charitable view of all this is that Pharmac has allowed itself to be 'pussy-whipped' in the finance minister's patently desperate measures to get that face-saving one in seven year financial surplus at all costs. By clearly believing that gay lives and health don't matter so much Pharmac (and it's political and financial masters) dishonour themselves and the entire medical and health professions. Daily News staff - 2nd January 2016

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 2nd January 2016 - 9:48pm

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