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Support for arson victims in full bloom

Mon 31 Jan 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

There has been incredible support on a Facebook page set up in solidarity with the couple A stream of fundraisers have been planned across the country for the Northland lesbian couple whose business was destroyed in a hate crime. The Mangawhai Heads packing shed of Lindsay Curnow and Juliet Leigh's company Blooming Bulbs was burnt down on January 15, a week after anti-lesbian hate graffiti was sprawled on their house, car and the shed. Police believe the fire was arson and are seeking whoever is responsible. However the case remains somewhat of a mystery. The case has sparked lashings of support from both the gay and straight communities, with money flowing into a fund administered by the Gay Auckland Business Association's charitable trust. Leigh and Curnow will be at the Big Gay Out in Auckland on February 13, as will the two men who were the victims of anti-gay hate in Christchurch, David Zelton and his partner Kym. The two couples plan to meet up and have already been in contact after Zelton contacted them in a show of solidarity. There will also be a stall at the GABA tent at the Big Gay Out on February 13, raising money for the women by selling donated items. Dunedin's Botanic Aromatic is supplying “renegade lavender” soap bearing an anti-homophobia message on the label, while Jacquie Grant from Sock World is donating possum socks. Anyone who wishes to donate items for the stall should email The Auckland Women's Centre is also organising a raffle at the Big Gay Out, where all proceeds will go to the couple. The community has already responded with some fabulous prizes, but anyone who has something they would like to offer can contact Leonie Morris at 09 376 3227 or On the same day in Wellington Rainbow Gardeners are running an event with drinks, a barbecue and a tour of the Grow From Here garden centre, on Cuba Street. The event starts at 5pm and 20 percent of the take will go to Blooming Bulbs. At Dunedin's Student Support Center at 5.15pm tomorrow a special movie screening will be held of the documentary Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story, which is about a controversial South African Political satirist who gained notoriety for his cross-dressing parodies of the apartheid regime. Itfocuses on his current work to inspire change around HIV/AIDS in South Africa, with the use of drag. Organisers Queer Support will have a card to sign, as well as collecting koha from this event to send the proceeds on to the Curnow and Leigh. "We have chosen a movie that hopefully speaks to the terrible news in a positive way," Queer Support says. "Hopefully this event will give us an opportunity to come together to share in supporting Juliet and Lindsay." Organiser of Auckland alternative lesbian night Proud Mary Katija Vlatkovich is planning to make a donation to the couple after the event's first birthday celebration on 4 March. She says the story gave her goosebumps: "It is so scary as well. This could happen to anyone," she says. Curnow and Leigh are members of the Gay and Lesbian Singers (GALS) and the group is planning a concert on the couple's behalf on 19 March 19 the Grey Lynn Community Hall. will have more details closer to the time. Lesbian Labour MP Maryan Street is a longtime friend of the couple. She has condemned the attack, but has also written on her Facebook page: "Within two days of it becoming public, Lindsay had got 500 emails of support and outrage on their behalf from people she had never met. Just shows - for every one nutjob, there are 500 people who care. Must remember that." Aside from financial support there has also been plenty of solidarity and kindness shown to the women. They have had a local man come and mow their lawns, a woman turn up with flowers and offers of help restarting their business, with a local nursery owner even offering them a shed and office space for free. The Mangawhai Fire Brigade was hoping to tear down the women's destroyed packing shed this past weekend, but was caught up dealing with weather-related callouts. It now hopes to remove the rubble this coming weekend. Support has been strong on the Opposition to hate crime against Blooming Bulbs Facebook group which you can join here Christchurch victim David Zelton has also created an anti-homophobia website, full details of which will be on soon, as will an update on the couple's situation (please note Daily News backed off on our coverage of this story due to concerns for the pair's safety but will be updating readers soon). You can make a donation to the women at this account: ASB 12 3064 0216613 00. Please ensure it is clearly marked Blooming Bulbs. Donations can also be made by credit card here: If you are planning a fundraiser or campaign you would like added please contact Jacqui Stanford through    

Credit: Daily News

First published: Monday, 31st January 2011 - 7:58pm

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