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12,000 strong BGO crowd cheers PM (with VIDEO)

Sun 11 Feb 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

4.00PM: Prime Minister Helen Clark's speech to Auckland's Big Gay Out has been greeted with cheers and a rush forward to the stage. Throngs of picnickers at the flagship Hero Festival event, estimated by the police at 12,000 strong, surged forward to the main entertainment stage when the Prime Minister appeared a few minutes ago. Helen Clark spoke for three minutes on how much she enjoyed yesterday's Civil Union ceremony of gay cabinet minister Chris Carter and his partner Peter Kaiser, and on how she has appreciated the parliamentary contribution of transgender MP Georgina Beyer, who leaves Parliament shortly. In step with other speeches delivered today, the PM reflected positively on the diversity which makes up the population of New Zealand. At the end of her speech drag divas Buffy and Bimbo led the enthusiastic crowd in three cheers for the PM. The weather for the event has remained lushly warm and humid all day, with clouds only now reappearing and not threatening rain. Groups of gay men and lesbians and families have clustered throughout the park or strolled amongst the wide variety of attractions. In common with previous Big Gay Outs many children have enjoyed the day and it appears that even more than the usual number of picnickers have brought their dogs along, with no untoward incidents. Video footage of the Prime Minister's speech at the Big Gay Out 2007 can be viewed below.     Ref: (j)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Sunday, 11th February 2007 - 12:00pm

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