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Banks has "matured and progressed"

Fri 24 Sep 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

Auckland mayor John Banks has "matured and progressed" since his headline-grabbing anti-gay rhetoric of the early to mid 1990s, according to his spokesperson. The sitting Mayor and candidate for a second term does not wish to dredge through his past anti-gay tirades, declining a comprehensive interview with GayNZ.com in the run-up to the local body elections. In the early 1990s Banks, then MP for Whangarei and variously Minister of Police and Tourism vehemently opposed equal rights for gays and the marketing of NZ to gay Australian tourists. He also made anti-gay comments while a host on Radio Pacific talkback. GayNZ.com had hoped Banks, who now calls himself gay-friendly and gay-supported in his bid for a second term, whould discuss his apparent change of heart to counter any scepticism or lingering bad feeling in gay circles. His spokesperson, Cameron Brewer, says Banks as Mayor "strives now to represent everyone in the city of Auckland." "People and views change and mature and progress, as have most New Zealanders on homosexual issues. Banks is the only candidate not to take a stance on Civil Unions. On last night's Queer Nation programme both Dick Hubbard and Christine Fletcher said they supported the legislation while Banks said he had not addressed that issue.    

Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff

First published: Friday, 24th September 2004 - 12:00pm

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