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McPhobic with Fries Please!

Tue 11 Jan 2011 In: Our Communities View at Wayback View at NDHA

Wow – the proof as they say is in the pudding. I just tried logging on to a few websites at McDonald's in Grey Lynn, and guess what?! While there I was able to watch a rape scene from an R18 movie. I was able to go on and join the National Front and become a skinhead. I was able to read all about how 'brown and black people' just don't have the brains to be as good as white people. I found out how 'greedy' Maori were and how white people don't get a ‘fair go' in New Zealand because of PC bureaucrats and gutless politicians. I could log onto Exodus Ministries and read all of their anti-gay material including links to other more hateful websites. Coincidentally, they were recently denied charitable status in New Zealand because of how they operate. Yet I could not have a look at Rainbow Youth - a charity that was the beneficiary of "Dancing With the Stars" - a family programme on TV 1. I could not go to GABA - the Gay Auckland Business Association and Trust. In November Nikki Kaye the MP for Auckland Central attended GABA to present community awards last year and congratulated them on the work they do in the community. Obviously in a family friendly environment like McDonald's it is not ok to access counselling and support information that could save the lives of our kids. But it is ok for them to watch a rape, feed racism, and become a white supremacist. Once again, the ignorant of this world on various blogs and forum jump up and bash gay people because they themselves are not gay. Why I wonder these same people given they profess to know what they are talking about, do they remain really silent on the "ok at McDonald's" topics of rape, murder, and racism - what does that say about them? Luckily there are activists in the world who will stand up and be noticed. You cannot just choose to follow the laws you like, if you choose to live here you have to follow all of them. Some people won't accept that there are gays in the world - tough, there are. I don't believe in Jesus - but that does not give me the right to tell my family and my close Christian friends that they have no right to be heard, or no right to find out how to join a church group. And to McDonald's, as no doubt your PR people are following this story with interest: Perhaps you may want to look a little more closely at content and categories before you ban entire websites and alienate a significant part of the population. All it does is cause unnecessary angst and provides yet another platform for hatred and ignorance to raise its ugly head. Human Rights Law in this country means that you cannot ban one group of people from access to service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. If you choose to offer a WiFi service then you have to take entire responsibility for its management not just a partial one with cursory regard for the content. Like it or not, you are a business that has to provide equal treatment to all of your staff and customers. Not just the Christians, rapists, murderers and skinheads, many of whom would dine at your family restaurants frequently. It is not right that once again even the words ‘gay' or ‘lesbian' are not perceived to have any place in a family environment. And somewhere in the world today other queer people will kill themselves because they don't think they belong either. “If you are not prepared to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” - Vaughan Meneses is the General Manager of community support service OUTLine. Vaughan Meneses - OUTLine - 11th January 2011    

Credit: Vaughan Meneses - OUTLine

First published: Tuesday, 11th January 2011 - 5:19pm

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