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Gay greenie stands against gay MP

Sat 13 Sep 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A gay student is campaigning against gay Labour MP Chris Carter in Auckland's Te Atatu electorate, in what is believed to be the first time in New Zealand that two openly gay candidates have contested the same general election electorate. Battle for the wild West: Xavier Goldie Green Party candidate Xavier Goldie says he's under no illusions about his chances of winning in the long-time Labour region, but is standing in an effort to increase the Green Party Vote. "Te Atatu is part of Waitakere City, which is aspiring to become the leading Eco-City in Aotearoa," he explains. "We have a strong Green Team in the west, including candidates, members and organisers, who are heavily involved in their local communities. I really wanted to be part of that energy." The Auckland University evolutionary biology Masters student says the West, Auckland city and the country need the Greens to keep pushing positive practical solutions to the problems that New Zealand and the world faces. "It's interesting that I'm standing in Te Atatu in Chris Carter, the current Labour MP, Minister of Education and well-known member of the Rainbow Community – I'm certainly under no illusions about my chances, but I'm putting my energy in to convince member of Te Atatu to Party Vote Green," he tells The Te Atatu electorate includes Te Atatu Peninsula, Te Atatu South, Parts of Henderson, Lincoln and Massey. The area has a reputation as LGBT-friendly, and is home to an increasing number of lesbian residents and events. Previously an active member of the Labour Party, Goldie says he joined the Greens because he felt that they were more serious about addressing pressing issues of our time than they were about petty politics and point-scoring.   "We don't engage in character assassination, we don't engage in posturing, because we recognise that the challenges we face require more from our Members of Parliament than that. We believe that there is no point in having this holy grail of economic growth if its based on the idea of being able to take infinite amounts of resources from the planet, or if it leaves our most vulnerable people behind. There are major, global problems around us, and the Greens are the only party that advocate sensible, positive solutions that are kind to the earth and fair for its people." The Green Party has several LGBT candidates in the upcoming election, including Rainbow Greens spokespeople Kevin Hague on the West Coast and Linda Persson in Hamilton East. Goldie says the party has always been supportive of a legislative agenda that restores dignity and rights to the more marginalised members of society, including our Rainbow Community. "We support equal rights for Rainbow couples in terms of parenting and relationship rights and we seek to protect and nurture our Queer and questioning students in school, to be secure and safe in their identities. We need to dispel this myth that LGBT Kiwis owe some kind of allegiance to the Labour Party because of things like the Civil Union Bill. "The Green Party has been unanimously behind, and indeed advocating for human rights for our community. If the protection of rights for queer New Zealanders is a guiding principle in your decision this election, then a Green Party Vote is the only sensible choice," he concludes.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Saturday, 13th September 2008 - 4:15pm

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