Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 23rd, 2015 - 86 comments
Categories: human rights, national, same old national - Tags: alfred ngaro, gay marriage, Linda Cooper, melissa lee, Nikki Kaye
Last weekend saw the annual Gay Pride Parade in Auckland. This is a parade that Labour has had representation at for many years and this year was no different. A large contingent of MPs and activists were in attendance. What was different was that National also had formal representation. Good on them. It is good to see the party that traditionally has been totally opposed to recognition of gay and lesbian rights is now changing its views.
Nikki Kaye attended. She is from the urban liberal edge of the party so her presence was not unusual. But with her were Melissa Lee and Alfred Ngaro. They both voted against Louisa Wall’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill which established marriage equality. And Ngaro has used the bill in an attempt to gain favour for National amongst conservative Pacific pastors.
Their presence reeks of hypocrisy. Arthur Schenck in his blog sums things up well.
Without a change of heart or an apology to LGBT New Zealanders, their taking part in a parade celebrating LGBT people—the very people they voted against!—is, at the very best, vile and rank hypocrisy. At worst, it smacks of crass political opportunism, a kind of political pink washing: Trying to cleanse their anti-gay records by appearing in a parade for the very people they voted against.
Ngaro’s presence was particularly galling because only a few months ago he was using the marriage equality bill to rile up rightwing voters to vote against Labour. Clearly he has not only NOT changed his views, but he’s actively anti-gay, which makes his presence in the parade an insult to all LGBT New Zealanders.
I say again: It’s good National finally decided to take part in the parade as Labour has done all along. National MP Nikki Kaye pushed the idea of a revived parade (years after the former HERO Parade folded), and she should be applauded. She also absolutely should have been there. But why have two anti-gay MPs? Were no pro-LGBT National MPs available? National REALLY needs to understand that sending MPs with an anti-gay voting record is as bad as not being there at all.
To complete the social media clusterfuck for National Auckland City Councillor and National List MP candidate Linda Cooper attacked someone on Facebook who questioned how appropriate it was that Lee and Ngaro should be there.
Note to Linda Facebook posts are for ever and abuse never works out well. On behalf of the future progressive candidate for Council in the Waitakere ward please keep this up.
Cooper has since apologised saying that her reference was to the feathered kind and not male genitalia but you have to wonder at this given the context in which the word was used.
Way to blow relations with the gay and lesbian community guys.
Update: Linda Cooper has now given a further apology on facebook.
I’m very sorry if my comments to Daniel O’Connor on the Auckland Pride Festival FB page have caused offence. On reflection, my choice of words to make a point was unfortunate and I apologise if my actions have detracted from what was otherwise a fantastic event of celebration and pride.
Linda obviously is not a catholic. When you apologise say it like you mean it. The comments clearly caused offence and did detract from the celebration.