NZ military most gay friendly in the world

May 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

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The Economist reports:

THE armed forces and homosexuality do not make natural bedfellows. Though tales from ancient Greece vaunt the heroism of gay soldiers, modern armies are mostly squeamish on the subject. So when New Zealand’s brass let its soldiers participate in a gay-pride parade, it helped put the country first on a new index that ranks 103 of the world’s armed forces by how open they are to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Countries at the bottom of the list—compiled by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, based on 21 indicators across five categories—are mostly those where homosexuality is a crime or considered an illness. Yet surprises abound. America’s relatively low ranking at 40th is largely because it bans transgender personnel, though it has gay-friendly policies. In Israel, where military issues are ever-present, the army seems more progressive than society. Only 40% of the population accept homosexuality, whereas the armed forces completely opened up to LGBT people in 1993, almost a decade before Britain (which is tied for second).

Anyone who thinks gays or lesbians shouldn’t be soldiers should go try saying that to an Israeli combat unit!

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Beyer says NZ not ready for a gay PM

August 25th, 2013 at 9:11 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transsexual mayor and MP, warns New Zealand is not ready for a gay prime minister and may be seeing a social conservative backlash.

With the Labour leadership up for grabs, it raises the question of whether Grant Robertson, the gay deputy leader, could be elevated to head the party, making him a strong possibility for prime minister.

But Beyer, who was an MP for eight years until 2007, said Labour needed to be realistic.

“I don’t think we’re ready yet,” Beyer said. “It’s not because Grant isn’t capable, I think he’s very capable . . . but the stigma that rests over those of us who are out, proud and gay who get into public office becomes untenable because you never shake it off and you get pigeon-holed.”

I disagree. I think it is up to the MP how much they pigeon-hole themselves. There is a spectrum when it comes to gay and lesbian MPs. At one end of the spectrum you have MPs like Chris Carter and Georgina who were very much identity politicians whose persona was around being the first gay MP or the first transsexual MP.

At the other end of the spectrum are MPs like Chris Finlayson who is an MP who happens to be gay. He doesn’t believe his sexuality defines him as an MP, it is just part of who he is.

Grant Robertson is somewhere in between those two extremes. He does promote “gay causes” but has been careful not to let them define him. He is more at the “MP who is gay” end of the spectrum than “gay MP” end.

So I don’t think Grant’s sexuality would pigeon-hole him. It is not to say it will have no impact at all, but I think it is relatively minor.

Beyer said it was possible the debate over gay marriage, which became legal this month, had invigorated social conservatives, meaning New Zealand was less ready for a gay prime minister now than it was a year ago.

Actually I think the legalisation of gay marriage has helped Grant. If it remained illegal then he would be asked constantly as a party leader (if he won) whether he wants the right to marry. He would of course say yes, and the stories would focus on that, and that would pigeon hole him as being into politics for his own agenda, rather than the agenda of the wider group Labour aspires to represent.

John Tamihere, a former Labour MP turned radio presenter, said New Zealand could, in theory, accept a gay prime minister, but it would have to be someone whose sexuality was not core to their reason for entering politics.

Tamihere sums it up well.

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A great dad

March 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

dadletter

 

This is a real letter written by a father who overheard his son talking about how to come out to his parents. Nate took a photo of it and sent it to FCKH8. On Facebook it has had around 81,000 likes and 49,000 shares.

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Labour’s Rainbow Policy

October 13th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Labour’s just released Rainbow policy states:

Many GLBTI New Zealanders continue to be subject to insult, verbal and physical abuse, and to be made to feel inferior, most damagingly in schools.

This comes from the party whose MPs (Mallard and Cosgrove) yell out “Tinkerbell” when a gay National Minister is speaking in the House.

ACT Wellington Central candidate Stephen Whittington referred to this in the Rainbow Candidates meeting last night. And do you know what Grant Robertson and Charles Chauvel said? Did they apologise for their colleagues? Did they say they had asked them to stop? No, they lied and denied that any Labour MP had ever said that. They actually accused Whittington of making a personal attack on them.

In case anyone actually thinks Robertson and Chauvel told the truth, look at this video here of Trevor Mallard (start at 2.30). Also note this interview with Green MP Kevin Hague who said:

Hague said he had never been the target of taunting over his sexual orientation since entering the halls of parliament in 2008.

The same, he said, couldn’t be said for other gay MPs, citing “prejudice” directed at Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson.

“Trevor Mallard, and also Clayton Cosgrove, refer to Chris Finlayson as `tinkerbell’. And I f—ing hate it,” Hague said. “That sort of overt taunting as a `fairy’, it is nothing other than prejudice. I don’t like that culture of abuse.”

Now in case you think the video is doctored and that Kevin Hague is the liar, instead of Robertson and Chauvel, you can also look at Hansard here and here.

Discrimination against GLBTI people worldwide continues. The worst manifestation of this is the criminalisation of consensual adult same-sex activity, and its punishment as a capital offence.

This comes from the party which has a List MP who said (from Wikipedia):

In July 2005 Choudhary came to the public’s attention again when he refused to condemn outright the practice of stoning people for homosexual and extramarital sexual behaviour. In TV3’s 60 Minutes show on July 4, 2005, Dr. Choudhary was asked: “Are you saying the Qur’an is wrong to recommend that gays in certain circumstances be stoned to death?” He replied: ” No, no. Certainly what the Qur’an says is correct.” He then qualified his statement, “In those societies, not here in New Zealand”.

When Whittington raised this at the Rainbow debate last night, again Labour again accused him of lying.

So how does Labour reconcile its rainbow policy with having an MP who said it is fine to stone homosexuals and adulters to death, so long as it is not here in New Zealand?

National is far from progressive on gay issues, but I can’t recall a National MP ever saying that it is fine to kill homosexuals, if it is done in other countries.

Then we look at their detailed policy.

Modernise the law relating to the care of children to ensure that the widest pool of suitable adults is lawfully available to provide care to children in need

My God, why can’t they just say they will allow gay couples to adopt? Are they so scared of having the words gay and adoption in the same sentence? There are thousands of children being raised by gay parents and gay couples already. The law should focus on what is best for the child, and if that is a gay couple, then they should be allowed to adopt. What is so hard about saying that explicitly?

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UN votes that executing gays is okay

November 23rd, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The enemies of freedom continue to make gains at the UN. This is the problem when so many of the members are countries with little regard for human rights.

Pink paper reports:

The United Nations has removed a plea for lesbians, gays and bisexuals not to be executed in a narrow vote.

For the last 10 years sexual orientation has been included in a list of discriminatory grounds for executions – gay rights activists say the vote to remove that listing is “dangerous and disturbing.”

The UN resolution urges countries to protect the right to life of all people, calling on them to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. Sexual orientation was previously listed as one of these forms of discrimination, alongside ethnicity, religious belief and linguistic minorities.

Others protected by the resolution were human rights defenders (like journalists, lawyers and demonstrators), street children and members of indigenous communities.

So pretty much everyone except gays have the right to life.

But now sexual orientation has been taken out of the list. The amendment was supported by Benin in Africa on behalf of the African Group in the UN General Assembly. It passed on a narrow vote of 79 for, 70 against , 17 abstentions and 26 absent.

Some of those voting to remove sexual orientation were countries where gays are known to be or thought to be executed or summarily killed including Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iraq.

No doubt many of them are members of the Human Rights Council.

Iran almost got elected to the Women’s Rights Commission – it took a dedicated campaign from the US to shame enough other countries to vote against Iran.

We do need a UN which all countries belong to. But its scope should be limited. We need another body to complement it – some sort of league of democratic nations. There should be quite tough criteria for admission, the ability to be expelled, and benefits for joining (such as free trade between members).

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Weird

July 22nd, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

A Christchurch man has claimed he was sacked from a coaching job at a Christchurch Christian school because he is gay.

The 28-year-old man told The Star newspaper he was employed at Middleton Grange School to coach one of the girls’ netball teams in February.

However, he was later told by the principal that the school’s Board of Trustees has decided his homosexuality was a problem and he could not continue in the position.

The newspaper reports today that the decision was made based on Christian beliefs that homosexuality is a sin.

It is understood the school has been ordered to apologise to the 28-year-old and pay him compensation. He now has a coaching job at another school.

How strange. If I was on a school board I would much rather have a young gay man coaching a women’s netball team, than a young heterosexual man, who will probably end up sleeping with one ore more of the students!

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Outed for being straight

April 26th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

From Philadelphia:

It’s happened so often that it’s now a cultural cliche: the gay politician pretending to be straight. In most parts of the nation, homosexuality or bisexuality is a clear electoral liability.

Not in Center City’s 182d state House district. There, it’s a badge of honor.

Veteran Rep. Babette Josephs (D., Phila.) last Thursday accused her primary opponent, Gregg Kravitz, of pretending to be bisexual in order to pander to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender voters, a powerful bloc in the district.

Heh that is a new one. Pretending to be bisexual to gain votes.

Kravitz, 29, said that he is sexually attracted to both men and women and called Josephs’ comments offensive.

An easy way to solve the issue though. Kravitz just needs to pash a hunky guy in public. I doubt any straight guy would do that just to win votes.

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Poll on Morality

September 14th, 2009 at 7:53 pm by David Farrar

I’ve just blogged at curiablog, on a morality poll by UMR. Respondents were asked how morally acceptable (or unacceptable certain activities were. Below is the morally acceptable score for each activity and the net acceptable score (acceptable less unacceptable)

From most to least acceptable, they were:

  1. Divorce 81%, +68%
  2. Sex outside marriage 77%, +59%
  3. Having baby outside marriage 71%, +48%
  4. Stem cell research 63%, +38%
  5. Homosexual relations 61%, +29%
  6. Euthanasia 55%, +18%
  7. Abortion 55%, +21%
  8. Gambling 52%, +10%
  9. Animal medical testing 52%, +12%
  10. Wearing or buying fur 48%, +4%
  11. Death Penalty 43%, -7%
  12. Animal Cloning 27%, -40%
  13. Suicide 20%, -48%
  14. Married people having affairs 13%, -70%
  15. Polygamy 11%, -74%
  16. Human cloning 7%, -81%

Now this was asking about moral acceptability, not legality. So while only 55% think abortion is morally acceptable, that doesn’t mean only 55% think it should be legal.

Now what would my answers have been. None of the first ten I would regard as morally unacceptable. I do regard the death penalty as unacceptable – not keen on states being able to kill it citizens. Tend to regard suicide as morally unacceptable in most circumstances but not all (ie terminally ill). While generally I think it is not a good idea for married people to have affairs (and if married I would not), I’m wouldn’t label it as morally unacceptable as it is between those two people. I don’t think polygamy should be legal but nor do I regard it as morally unacceptable. And finally I don’t believe human cloning is automatically morally unacceptable.  I favour very very tight restrictions on it, but think there are potential benefits.

So bottom line is there is very little I believe is always morally unacceptable. Mainly just the death penalty really.

I’m sure very few here will agree with me!

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Alan Turing

September 11th, 2009 at 11:27 am by David Farrar

Like many, I know Alan Turing for his mathematics and cryptology, and especially for his invaluable role in WWII for cracking the Nazi’s enigma code.

Wikipedia says:

Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. He provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. In 1999 Time Magazine named Turing as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century for his role in the creation of the modern computer, stating: “The fact remains that everyone who taps at a keyboard, opening a spreadsheet or a word-processing program, is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine.”

During the Second World War, Turing worked at Bletchley Park, Britain’s codebreaking centre, and was for a time head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

What I did not know is that Turing was gay, and he was effectively castrated in 1952 for being gay. Turing had a brief consensual relationship with an Arnold Murray, who then broke into his house with an accomplice and robbed it. The Police investigated and when the homosexual relationship between Turing and Murray became evident, charged Turing with gross indecency.

He was convicted and given a choice between imprisonment, or chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections.  Two years later he killed himself.

How appalling that this happened just 50 or so years ago in a so called civilised society. And to a man whose genius helped the Allies win WWII.

This has become topical due to a petition posed on the 10 Downing Street website calling for justice for Turing. This led to an official response from Gordon Brown who said:

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ – in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence – and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison – was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.

Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate – by anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices – that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.

Thank God the vast majority of people no longer think it should be a crime to be gay, let alone that castration is an appropriate treatment.

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Gore does not forgive

November 16th, 2008 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

Jeremy Wells labelled Gore the gay capital of NZ in 1999.  So when he was there on election night, 15 locals (who would have been teenagers at the time) tried to beat him up for the comments.

Isn’t that sort of, well, gay?

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