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Election Night 11.03PM: Casualties and Survivors, Heroes and villains

Sat 17 Sep 2005 In: Features

What has happened to some of Parliament's most virulently anti-gay MPs, and some of our greatest supporters, based on current results? ACT has been saved from oblivion by leader Rodney Hide's victory in Epsom, but their party vote has been decimated, meaning Stephen “gays are riddled with pathologies” Franks and Muriel “homosexual agenda” Newman are gone. Hide will bring with him MP Heather Roy. Both MPs were supporters of the Civil Union and Relationships Acts. National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee, who refused to support the Civil Union Act because gays and lesbians “aren't the same” as everyone else, has sailed back into Parliament with an easy victory in his Ilam electorate. Despite a valiant challenge from gay Labour candidate Tony Milne in Rakaia, National's Brian Connell, who described the Civil Union Act as a homosexual recruitment drive, is also back in Parliament. The three National sitting MPs who supported glbt civil rights – Pansy Wong, Katherine Rich and Clem Simich – all look set to return to Parliament thanks to their high list placing and National's strengthened party vote. The great Christian party United Future has also seen a slashing of its party vote, and looks set to have only 3 MPs in Parliament, thanks to leader Peter Dunne winning his Ohariu-Belmont seat. However, vocally anti-gay MPs Marc Alexander, Larry Baldock (who attempted to force a gay marriage ban bill through earlier this year) and Murray Smith will not be among that number. NZ First leader Winston Peters may have lost his Tauranga seat in a humiliating defeat, but the party vote looks strong enough to bring in seven MPs. Peters has already made a commitment in his concession speech to stand up for New Zealand's “traditional family values” in the next parliamentary term. However, MPs Ron Mark and Brian Donnelly, both supporters of the Civil Union and Relationships Acts, are back. Crusty relic and arch-homophobe Dail Jones is history. Deputy leader Peter Brown, who has often made veiled connections between homosexuality and paedophilia, unfortunately will remain. At number 8 on the list, Susan Baragwanath – who made a brave showing at a recent GABA meeting in Auckland to express her support for the glbt community – just misses out on a seat. Jim Anderton's Progressive Party looks set to sadly become a party of one, but only just. Anderton looks set to retain his Wigram seat, but the party vote is not enough at present to bring in more MPs. Sitting on 1.2% of the party vote at the moment, they are a tantalising 0.1% away from bringing back human rights champion Matt Robson into Parliament. Both Anderton and Robson were supporters of the Civil Union and Relationships Acts. In a wonderfully ironic twist, the Labour MP credited with stirring up the homophobic redneck supporters of the party is a goner. John Tamihere, who scored an infamous own goal in an interview with fundamentalist Christian journalist Ian Wishart, in which he said the country was being run by too many feminists, lesbians and gays, has lost his Tamaki Makaurau seat to Pita Sharples from the Maori Party. Sharples is a new MP, but has expressed strong support for glbt civil rights. Tamihere did the exact opposite. He is not on Labour's list, so he won't be back this parliamentary term. 12.30am update: Labour's David Benson-Pope, who successfully shepherded through the Civil Unions Bill is comfortably back as Dunedin North MP. And Lianne Dalziel, who energetically preceded Benson-Pope as the minister in charge of the CU bill, has been returned as MP for Christchurch East. However, Paul Adams, the fundamentalist MP who fasted to encourage God to strike down the CU legislation, has taken a spectacular nosedive as an independent candidate and will have to find a new job. Chris Banks - 17th September 2005    

Credit: Chris Banks

First published: Saturday, 17th September 2005 - 12:00pm

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