The National Party's openly-gay MP has been named as New Zealand's new Attorney General in cabinet announcements made this afternoon by incoming Prime Minister John Key. Senior Cabinet role: Christopher Finlayson "Christopher Finlayson will be the Minister Responsible for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Attorney-General," said Key. "He will be responsible for keeping up the pace of Treaty settlements which we have seen in recent times." Since he entered Parliament in 2005, Finlayson has risen rapidly through National ranks and had previously been National's shadow Attorney General. His new position – taking over from Labour's Michael Cullen – means he is the main legal advisor to the Government, and is responsible for the Crown Law Office, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the Serious Fraud Office. It's not the first time New Zealand has had an openly-gay MP in a senior cabinet role. Until the election, Labour's Chris Carter was Minister of Education, and Maryan Street was Minister of Housing. Last year Finlayson called for the so-called 'gay panic defence' – where killers of gay men can get a reduced sentence by citing a homosexual 'advance' by their victim – to be reviewed as part of a broader review of the 1961 Crimes Act.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Monday, 17th November 2008 - 3:56pm
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