Gaynz and English

The NZ Herald reports on a very upset Bill English, whose teenage (under 15) son has been attacked by for statements on his Bebo page.

I think it is appalling to attack a child on the basis of his Bebo page, just because of who his father is. And I should point out that I am not going to allow any comments directly on the son. Young teenage boys don’t need to face a Spanish inquisition about what they may or may not have said on Bebo.

What I want to deal with is the actual target of the attack – Bill English. has decided that his son is fair game in an attempt to get at Bill. They very clearly are trying to paint a picture that if a child has anti-gay views, then he must be reflecting his parents. This is total crap, and I can use myself as an example.

When I was at school, I was horribly conservative on “gay issues” and basically homophobic. I even circulated an anti HLRB petition at school (to my eternal shame) Now it is ridiculous to suggest my views in any way reflected my parents. I’m not going to open my own family up to debate, but accept my assertion that this is the case.

Now when I got to university my views liberalised massively, and I’m proud to have massively different views now and have supported campaigns such as that for civil unions, and even been the Returning Officer for the Gay Association of Professionals (which a good mate of mine helped establish, and they needed a non member to run their elections). And I can’t even count up how many friends are gay, lesbian or bisexual but off hand I would say at least a couple of dozen.

Anyway the point is not me establishing my “credentials”, but to highlight that my views have changed 180 degrees over time, and that in no way have they been a reflection of my parents views. God forbid they are ever held responsible for my views as a 14 year old or a 40 year old.

Now as I said, Bill is the one they are really going after. They are trying to paint him as some sort of guy who perhaps secretly rails against homosexuals and influences his kids this way. Now Bill doesn’t need me to defend him, and probably will even be pissed off I am talking about some personal stuff, but it really grates me how they paint such a false picture of him.

I know Bill of course. I’ve known him since 1990, and pretty well since 1996. Bill is of course a person of faith, and it is important to him. But never in all the time I have known him has he ever expressed a negative view in private conversation on a person’s sexual orientation. To the contrary he has hired a number of staff who are gay or bisexual and they are fanatically devoted to him. At least one of his children’s godparents is gay. I could go on and give other examples, but I hope I have made my point.

Sure Bill did not vote for civil unions. And that is a legitimate issue on which to debate his views. But to try and smear him on the basis of some comments made on Bebo, allegedly by one of his young teenage sons, is not legitimate. It is unfair to Bill and more importantly it is grossly unfair to his children, who have to cope with all the associated shit.

Once again I warn people I will have a very low tolerance in this thread for inappropriate comments. Think twice before commenting.

UPDATE: No Right Turn labels the GayNZ story as despicable and vile.

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